Interesting News

STANDARD ENGLISH

 

Standard English is a controversial term used to denote a form of written and spoken English that is thought to be normative for educated users. There are no set rules or vocabulary for “Standard English” created by a governing body like French. In fact it has been tried in both American and Britain, but all attempts have failed. However, it does have very well defined grammar rules written down in grammar books that you have all studied, and as well, any number of dictionaries that define the languages words and are published all over the world.

However, there are, as usual complications. Many contend that one should rather speak of “standard Englishes“, or “standard English dialects”, given that there are large, distinct English language communities with distinct standards—such as American English and British English.

Another complication is that English has become the most widely used second language in the world, and as such it is subject to the most alteration by non-native speakers, and numerous “non-native dialects” are developing their own standards (those, for example, of English language publications published in countries where English is generally learned as a foreign language). All the English publications printed in Ukraine are an example of this. You are in a sense, creating your own English as well.

 

Anyway, let’s see how Standardized English fits the categories for a standard language.

 

Selection: At the end of the 15th century the London dialect had established itself as the dominant one and existed in two versions: a spoken one and a written one. The latter was called Chancery Standard and developed quickly into the dialect which was to become Standard English. Standard English has changed a great deal since then, but it remains the known standard dialect.

Acceptance:The acceptance of the London dialect as the standard, however, is not so much a result of the economic influence of the London merchants, but that of the students who came from all over England to study in Oxford and Cambridge and here adapted the fashionable dialect. This helped the variety to increase its social and geographical mobility. Its employment by the court, as well as its political usefulness in the wake of growing a national consciousness, led to its final adoption as the standard.

Elaboration: As the new standard began to spread into the domains of administration, government and the Church, it became necessary to expand the linguistic means by which this was to be carried out. As a result the vocabulary of Standard English was also expanded.

 

Codification: The variety of Standard English became increasingly complex and as more people aspired to use this particular variety, there emerged an enormous need to know of what it consisted. Of the early dictionaries probably the best known is that of Samuel Johnson, whose two volume Dictionary of the English Language was published in 1755 and stands at the beginning of a long tradition of dictionaries.

 

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