Edited American English (EAE)

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Edited American English is a variety of Standard American English used in most forms of academic writing. Also called Standard Written English (SWE).

"Edited" English commonly refers to writing that has been prepared for publication in print (in contrast to online writing).

The Brown University Corpus of Edited American English (BUC) contains approximately one million words of "present-day edited American English." Excluded from this corpus are any forms of spoken English as well as words found in verse, drama, and scientific writing.


  • "Edited American English is the version of our language that has come to be the standard for written public discourse--for newspapers and books and for most of the writing you do in school and on the job...

    Where did this description of Edited American English come from? It is the work through the years of many grammarians, many authors of textbooks and dictionaries, many editors who have taken it upon themselves to describe--and sometimes to prescribe--the version of English used by the influential writers and speakers of their day. Those writers and speakers don't say 'I don't have no money' and 'He don't like me' and 'I ain't going'--at least not in their public discourse. They say 'I don't have any money' and 'He doesn't like me' and 'I'm not going,' so those forms are the ones that get included in the grammar books and usage manuals as the standard." (Martha Kolln and Robert Funk, Understanding English Grammar, 5th ed. Allyn and Bacon, 1998)
  • "For college students, Edited American English consists of the language used in formal written documents, for example, in course essays, assignments, and term papers. The rigorous editing required for those tasks is not as necessary in more informal writing, such as journal entries, freewriting, blogs, and first drafts." (Ann Raimes and Susan Miller-Cochran, Keys for Writers, 7th ed. Wadsworth, Cengage, 2014)

    Examples of Usage in EAE: Singulars and Plurals​

    "Edited American English and most conservative American commentary insist that the singular nouns kind, manner, sort, type, style, and way must be modified by singular demonstratives (this/that kind or manner or sort or style or way)  and that normally each will be followed by an of phrase with a singular object (this kind of dog, that manner of chatter, that sort of dilemma, this type of book, this way of writing). Further, these same conservative American standards insist that when kind, manner, sort, type, way, and the like are plural, then the preceding demonstratives and any count nouns serving as objects of the following prepositions must also be plural: these kinds of studies, those sorts of poems, these types of airplanes. But when the following objects of the preposition are mass nouns, they may be singular, as in those sorts of gravel, those types of sand, these ways of thinking. Whatever the American Edited English standards demand, however, British English and American Conversational and Informal uses clearly display a full range of combinations of singulars and plurals..." (The Columbia Guide to Standard American English.

    Columbia University Press, 1993)

    Further Reading