English or Englishes?
"Is there, or should there be, a "standard English"? Should it be defined as the idiom of the educated, the sound of the city-dweller, the style of the business letter? As early as the tenth century, teachers in the monastic schools of Anglo-Saxon England asked this question. Some claimed there should be rules for spelling, speech, and usage. Such rules were grounded in a particular dialect of Old English--the one that was geographically central to the region of the king's court and the church's administration. Similar attentions to the dialect and standards were the subject of debates throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Was there, asked teachers and students alike , a particular regional form of English that should form a national standard? Should we write the way we speak? Should speech display one's education (and thus something that could be learned) or should it reveal one's class and region (and thus something that reflected birth)?"