Would English benefit from an Official Language Academy?

I would love to see an official academy of English. I despair at the worryingly lack of knowledge of English even by natives. Add to that the justified concerns of natives who teach it, but misinform students. Take a look at some of the answers people give for ‘Present Perfect’ to get a flavor of what I mean.

An official academy would give a standard to which we could all work from; at least in theory. In the UK, we have the Oxford English dictionary to regulate spelling and meaning. We have the BBC to officially regulate the pronunciation. Despite those two institutions, we still have people speaking badly. We still have people claiming there is ‘informal’ and ‘formal’ English when really what they mean is: They haven’t a clue which is correct, so they give both and explain it away with the nonsense of formality.

There is then the question: Which version of English would it be?
American? British? Irish? South African?

My personal view is to not go with the American version. Americans rarely use the present perfect and use the past perfect even less so. Also, contrary to what English learners may believe, American English is nowhere near as universal among English speaking countries. Research how many native English countries pronounce the last letter of the English alphabet as ‘zee’ and how many pronounce it ‘zed’ to get an idea of what I mean.

As much as I would love to see an official academy in order to set standards, I don’t think it will have much impact and there would be too much in-fighting from Americans and the rest of the English speaking world as to which version should set the standard.

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