Paffey adopts a Critical Discourse Analysis approach to a large corpus of texts from Spain's best-selling daily newspapers, El Pais and ABC. More generally, the book sheds light on how institutions produce and maintain visions of 'standard language' in the contemporary context. A global language, such as Spanish, is by nature more widely used outside of the nation state in question than in it.
The book covers recent research on language ideologies, standardization and CDA and considers the application of these to three core discursive themes: language unity
and a concept of a 'panhispanic' speech community
; the RAE's construction of its authority; and institutional ideologies and management of language on a global scale.