Today’s keynote speaker Prof. Dr. Marianne Gronemeyer shared a rant on standards. Along the years, we have become accustomed to standards giving us information on what is “right”.
Standard English, for example, is a description of the variant of English which is accepted as a national norm. It is the standard language in English speaking countries. Standard English includes a fixed orthography and codification in authoritative grammars and dictionaries. It is the language used by government and public institutions and the one we are being taught.
The idea or perception Gronemeyer pointed at, was that if there is a standard language, then the other languages have become “wrong”.
This idea struck me as I hadn’t considered it like that, and don’t see a reason to set the standard as “right” and everything else as “wrong”.
But the idea that there must be one version which is right is something that I continuously see. There is an ongoing search for “the” solution, for “the” answer, for “the truth” or for what is “right”.
It’s the best way to seek a way of life as subordinate. The standard is there to tell us what to do, the standard becomes the authority.
It’s also a perfect way to make decisions as difficult as possible. Either the decision is imperfect and thus difficult to accept or the decision can’t be made until there is the security of having it right.