Standard n.

(the name of) a language spoken on multiple worlds or by multiple species; the common language of a group or place; cf. Galactic n. 2


  • 1952 ‘R. Dee’ Wailing Wall in Galaxy Science Fiction July 31/2 page image Roger Dee bibliography

    We sent Xavier out to meet the first native that showed up, and the native talked to him. We heard it all by monitoring: his name was Tarvil, he spoke Terran Standard, and he was amicable.

  • 1953 D. Knight Double Meaning in Startling Stories Jan. 41/2 page image Damon Knight bibliography

    It was in reasonably good Standard; so good, in fact, that Spangler conceived an instant suspicion that Pembun could speak Standard acceptably when he chose.

  • 1965 M. Z. Bradley Star of Danger (1985) 4 Marion Zimmer Bradley bibliography

    You could get along all right in Standard, of course—everyone around the Spaceport and the Trade City speaks it.

  • 1980 S. Webb Switch on the Bull Run Jan. 48 page image Sharon Webb bibliography

    I didn’t know what they were talking about; none of them spoke Standard.

  • 1996 J. D. Vinge Dreamfall (2004) 153 Joan D. Vinge bibliography

    She spoke Standard, with no real accent.

  • 2000 ‘M. Thomas’ Broken Time 255 Emily Devenport bibliography

    ‘You're not going to translate for me?’ Siggy was frightened again. ‘They speak Standard,’ he said.

  • 2001 D. Weber & J. Ringo March Upcountry (2002) 263 David Weber John Ringo

    As long as they used Standard, no one was going to be able to know what they were talking about.

  • 2010 K. K. Rusch Becoming One with the Ghosts in Asimov’s Science Fiction Oct.–Nov. 39 page image Kristine Kathryn Rusch bibliography

    I’m not sure what they speak. It sounded familiar when the woman started talking to us, but I couldn’t understand her. I thought at first that she was speaking Standard, but pronouncing it differently, so differently that I had trouble processing it. Then I realized that the words sounded familiar but weren’t familiar.

  • 2020 E. Bear Machine iii. 34 Elizabeth Bear bibliography

    Then it spoke, in stilted but correct Standard, in a smoky contrived alto that made me flinch.

Research requirements

antedating 1952

Earliest cite

Roger Dee, in Galaxy

Research History
Ralf Brown submitted a 2000 cite from Maggy Thomas's "Broken Time".
Fred Galvin submitted a 1952 cite from Roger Dee, in Galaxy.
We have a quotation from a later edition of Marion Zimmer Bradley's "Star of Danger"; we would like to check this in the 1965 first edition.

Last modified 2021-02-10 11:56:41
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.