During the medieval and early modern periods, the power of English spread throughout the British countries, and from the early seventeenth century its power began to be felt throughout the world. Due to colonization, exploration, and trading overseas, the outside relationships for several centuries became the reason for change in the English language. The English language was loaned words from different languages around the world. English contained words from places such as Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands, and other trading and imperial nations. The English that we use today is known as a global language that is frequently used and understood by many nations where English is not the first language. Who is to say what is Standard or Non-Standard English? Is there some law that says your English is right or wrong? There are some who label the different dialects of English as good or bad. Everyone uses the English language differently on a daily basis, and the English they use is depending upon the audience they are speaking to.
In the essay "Mother Tongue," Amy Tan tells a story of how she uses different Englishes in every day life. Tan tells a story of how she was given a speech about one of her books, and she recognized that her mother was present. Tan also noted that she was using words with her audience that she would not usually use with her mother because her mother's English was considered to be "limited" or "broken." Because of this limited use of the Standard English, Tan's mother was mistreated and sometimes ignored by others. Tan had begun to believe that her mother's words had no meaning because of her limited English. It was not until Tan was walking down the street with her mother and they are conversing when she realizes that she too uses the same English her mother uses. Tan tells us they were speaking of some furniture and that is when she used the same dialect that her mother often uses.