English-speaking Web users are Americans, and American English isquickly becoming an international standard. I am slowly reworking thesite to take note of American deviations from standard British practice.However, the job is complicated by the fact that Canadians, Australians,and many others often follow patterns somewhere between the two. If thestandard usage where you are differs from what is described here, tellme about it; and if I think it's important to do so, I'll note thatfact. Meanwhile, just assume that this site is primarily about AmericanEnglish.Isn't it oppressive of immigrants and subjugated minorities to insist onthe use of standard English?Language standards can certainly be used for oppressive purposes, butmost speakers and writers of all races and classes want to use languagein a way that will impress others. It is interesting that in the debateover Oakland, California's proposed "ebonics" policy, African-American parents were especially outspoken in arguing that to allow students toregard street slang as legitimate in an educational setting was to limitthem and worsen their oppressed status. The fact is that the world isfull of teachers, employers, and other authorities who may penalize youfor your non-standard use of the English language. Feel free to denouncethese people if you wish; but if you need their good opinion to getahead, you'd be wise to learn standard English. Note that I oftensuggest differing usages as appropriate depending on the setting: spokenvs. written, informal vs. formal; slang is often highly appropriate. Infact, most of the errors discussed on this site are common in thewriting of privileged middle-class Americans, and some arecharacteristic of people with advanced degrees and considerableintellectual attainments. However you come down on this issue, note thatthe great advantage of an open Web-based educational site like this isthat it's voluntary: take what you want and leave the rest.But you made a mistake yourself!We all do, from time to time. Drop me a line if you think you've foundan error in my own writing. If I think you're right, I'll correct it; but be prepared to be disagreed with. If you write me, please don't callme "Brian." My given name is Paul.For instructions on how to write me, see the bottom of this page.This resource is copyrighted by Paul Brians. Permission is granted toreprint or photocopy it in its entirety or in part for all nonprofit,educational purposes provided that the author is cited and the URL of this page is included. As a courtesy, please notify the author if youcopy or link to this material. Because the content changes frequently,and I need to maintain control over the site, requests to create Webmirrors of the site are usually declined.