William Caxton, in his role as a merchant and not a writer or linguist, faced several problems in his trade procedures, which he often described in the prologues to his prints. As he produced many copies of the same product, he had to decide whether he would print a book in its original and specific English dialect or try to change it into an English that most of his customers were able to understand.

Caxton did not come up with a general standardized English, but he helped to homogenize various regional dialects of English through printing.

Likewise, Caxton initiated the expansion of the English lexis by translating foreign texts into English, often deliberately creating English substitutes for foreign words.