Standard English is a fixed variety, intolerant of variation, and is used throughout the population of English users, irrespective of geography. Where did Standard English come from, how did it come to win such widespread acceptance in the face of so much disagreement, and what is its status today? ‘Standards’ explains that Standard English is a relatively recent phenomenon, which grew out of an eighteenth-century anxiety about the status of English, and which prompted a concern for the codification and ‘ascertaining’, or fixing, of English. Before the eighteenth century, dialect variation was the norm, both in speech and in writing. Spellings, dialects and pronunciation, and good grammar are all discussed.