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STANDARD

STANDARD A prestigious and uniform variety of a LANGUAGE: the literary standard, standard English. The application of the term to language dates from the 18c, when the idea of standard shapes, sizes, and measures and of commercial and manufacturing standards began to develop. Since then, the concepts of a standard language (one with agreed norms and conventions) and a language standard (a level below which a ‘cultivated’ language should not fall) have been closely associated. For some, the expressions are two sides of the same linguistic coin: the standard is and should be the highest and best form of a language. For others, there is no necessary tie between the two: a standard language is an averaging-out of differences, neither higher nor better than any other variety of a language, and used with particular ends in mind. For others still, uncertainty may lead to ambivalence and confusion about the relative merit of standards and dialects. DIALECT, colloquial usage, and slang are often lumped together, with greater or less discrimination, as nonstandard, SUBSTANDARD, or deviant forms when judged against a dominant form that is taught in all schools and used by all major public and private institutions.

Standards and languages

In medieval times, the vernaculars of Europe were overshadowed by LATIN, the language of scriptural truth, learning, and debate: the gold standard, as it were, against which base VERNACULAR metal was judged. During the 12–16c, however, an accumulation of events and processes demoted Latin and promoted some vernaculars (such as Northern FRENCH over Occitan, the Romance language of southern France) and some varieties of some vernaculars (such as the East Midland dialect of English over other dialects). These events and processes were:

1. Ethnic and cultural unification.

Many groups using the same languages began to develop a firmer sense of unity. If the unity lacked political cohesion, as in Italy and Germany, linguistic refinement was fostered in certain cities and courts and through certain literary styles. If the unity was accompanied by political centralization, as in France, Spain, and England, linguistic refinement was fostered by a capital where the court resided. Such forms as Parisian French, Castilian SPANISH, and the English of south-east England became the ‘good’ forms of those languages: that is, those drawn from or influenced by Latin. The presence of a strong, literate business class further enhanced the prestige and utility of metropolitan forms of speech and writing.

2. The growth of vernacular literatures.

New literatures developed as counter-points to Latin in such languages as Italian, Spanish, French, GERMAN, and English. They owed much to Latin and GREEK in terms of the genres, formulas, and allusions available to them, but differed from them in being widely understood. They were able to exploit, among other things, popular epic cycles such as the Matter of Britain (Arthur, the Round Table, the Holy Grail) and the Matter of France ( Charlemagne and Roland).

3. The invention of movable type.

The use of PRINTING presses in the Rhineland from the mid-15c promoted standard letters, uniform formats and sizes of paper, and over time more regularized orthographies. The presses developed a greater influence over religious, literary, public, official, and educational language than scribes had ever had over the medieval and classical languages. In the case of English, Caxton and later printers, though at times anxious about their usages, built on a relatively stable written standard that had already been used for some decades by the clerks of Chancery when writing official documents.

4. The legacy of Latin.

During the Renaissance, the flow of elements of NEO-LATIN (Latin with admixtures of Greek) into the new ‘high’ forms of the vernaculars made them more effective as vehicles of learning and shed on them some of the lustre of the classics. This was particularly true of English, already receptive to the vocabulary of the Romance languages because of the impact of Norman French since the 11c.

5. Translating the Bible.

The questioning of the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church before, during, and after the Reformation also served to weaken the hold of Latin, the language of the Mass and of St Jerome's Vulgate Bible. In northern Europe in particular, the BIBLE in an élite ecclesiastical language ceased to be acceptable. When it was translated directly from the original HEBREW and Greek into such vernaculars as English, the variety used for the TRANSLATION became privileged by that use, much as Latin had been privileged before.

Conclusion

The development of vernaculars such as French and English and of high forms of those vernaculars such as educated Parisian French and educated south-eastern English depended therefore on the existence of a royal court, a literature associated with that court, laws and ordinances promulgated by court and parliament, the aspirations of a growing middle class, increasing literacy in writing and print, and schools inspired by Latin and the grammatical descriptions of Latin. Such forms benefited from the sense of an educated and refined minority set by Providence over an uneducated and unrefined majority in town and country, a sense that continued uninterrupted from the Middle Ages to at least the American and French Revolutions in the late 18c.

See BAD ENGLISH, CHANCERY STANDARD, CLASSICAL LANGUAGE, CULTIVATED, EDUCATED AND UNEDUCATED, GENERAL ENGLISH, GOOD ENGLISH, GRAMMATICALITY, HISTORY OF ENGLISH, NORM, NORMATIVE, PROPER, RECEIVED, RECEIVED PRONUNCIATION, RECEIVED STANDARD AND MODIFIED STANDARD, REFINED, U AND NON-U.

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"STANDARD." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"STANDARD." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/standard

"STANDARD." Concise Oxford Companion to the English Language. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/standard

standard

stand·ard / ˈstandərd/ • n. 1. a level of quality or attainment: their restaurant offers a high standard of service the governor's ambition to raise standards in schools. ∎  a required or agreed level of quality or attainment: half of the beaches fail to comply with EPA standards| their tap water was not up to standard. 2. an idea or thing used as a measure, norm, or model in comparative evaluations: the wages are low by today's standards the system had become an industry standard. ∎  (standards) principles of conduct informed by notions of honor and decency: a decline in moral standards. ∎  a form of language that is widely accepted as the correct form. ∎  the prescribed weight of fine metal in gold or silver coins: the sterling standard for silver. ∎  a system by which the value of a currency is defined in terms of gold or silver or both. 3. an object that is supported in an upright position, in particular: ∎  a military or ceremonial flag carried on a pole or hoisted on a rope. ∎  a tree or shrub that grows on an erect stem of full height. ∎  a shrub grafted on an erect stem and trained in tree form. ∎  Bot. the large frequently erect uppermost petal of a papilionaceous flower. Also called vexillum. ∎  Bot. one of the inner petals of an iris flower, frequently erect. ∎  an upright water or gas pipe. 4. a tune or song of established popularity. • adj. 1. used or accepted as normal or average: the standard rate of income tax it is standard practice in museums to register objects as they are acquired. ∎  (of a size, measure, design, etc.) such as is regularly used or produced; not special or exceptional: all these doors come in a range of standard sizes. ∎  (of a work, repertoire, or writer) viewed as authoritative or of permanent value and so widely read or performed: his essays on the interpretation of reality became a standard text. ∎  denoting or relating to the spoken or written form of a language widely accepted as usual and correct: speakers of standard English. 2. (of a tree or shrub) growing on an erect stem of full height. ∎  (of a shrub) grafted on an erect stem and trained in tree form: standard roses. PHRASES: raise one's (or the) standard chiefly fig. take up arms: he is the only one who has dared raise his standard against her.DERIVATIVES: stand·ard·ly adv.

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"standard." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"standard." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/standard-0

"standard." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/standard-0

standard

standard
A. military or naval ensign XII;

B. (gen.) erect or upright object; stump of tree left standing XIII (first in place-names);

C. exemplar of measure or weight; level or degree of quality or achievement XV. Aphetic of AN. estaundart, OF. estendart (mod. étendard, f. estendre EXTEND; see -ARD. The group of meanings under B is mainly by assoc. with STAND.
Hence standardize XIX.

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"standard." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"standard." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/standard-1

standard

standard
1. A tree that is allowed to grow to its full height.

2. A single-trunked tree that is large enough to be converted to sawn timber.

3. A cultivated plant that stands without support because it has been grafted on to a robust, upright stem (e.g. a standard rose).

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"standard." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"standard." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/standard

"standard." A Dictionary of Ecology. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/standard

standard

standard
1. A tree that is allowed to grow to its full height
.
2. A single-trunked tree that is large enough to be converted to sawn timber
.
3. A cultivated plant that stands without support because it has been grafted on to a robust, upright stem (e.g. a standard rose).

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"standard." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"standard." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/standard-0

"standard." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/standard-0

Standard

Standard

a quantity of timber, 1858; a body of troops kept in reserve, 1297; a company of cavalry.

Examples : standard of apparel (suit of clothes), 1630; a standard of feathers (a set of plumes), 1578; a cornet or standard of horsemen, 1580.

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standard

standard
1. A publicly available definition of a hardware or software component, resulting from international, national, or industrial agreement.

2. A product, usually hardware, that conforms to such a definition.

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"standard." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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standard

standard •multi-layered •beard, weird •greybeard (US graybeard) •bluebeard • Iliad • Olympiad • myriad •period •hamadryad, jeremiad, semi-retired, underwired, undesired, unexpired, uninspired •coward, Howard, underpowered, unpowered •froward •leeward, steward •gourd, Lourdes, self-assured, uncured, uninsured, unobscured, unsecured •scabbard, tabard •halberd • starboard •unremembered • tribade • cupboard •unencumbered, unnumbered •good-natured, ill-natured •Richard • pilchard • pochard • orchard •unstructured • uncultured •standard, sub-standard •unconsidered • unhindered •unordered • Stafford • Bradford •Sandford, Sanford, Stanford •Hartford, Hertford •Bedford, Redford •Telford • Wexford • Chelmsford •Clifford • Pickford • Guildford •Linford • Mitford • Hereford •Longford • Oxford • Watford •Crawford • Salford • Rutherford •haggard, laggard •niggard • unsugared • sluggard •unmeasured • uninjured • tankard •becard • bewhiskered • unconquered •drunkard

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"standard." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"standard." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/standard