This article is from the alt.comp.lang.learn.c-c++ Frequently Asked Questions. Compiled by Sunil Rao firstname.lastname@example.org.
You cannot obtain copies of the standards for free. This is because the standards organisations earn a large part of their revenue from selling printed copies.
The C FAQ tells you how you can obtain copies of the C standard. You could also buy "The Annotated ANSI C Standard", by the afore-mentioned Herbert Schildt (question 16). Make sure that you ignore the annotations completely, however.
The C++ standard can be obtained online directly from the ANSI Electronic Standards store . After registering yourself for free, you can download the document in Adobe PDF format on payment of $18.00 (US) by credit card. http://webstore.ansi.org/ansidocstore/default.asp
The standards documents can be daunting at first sight; meant, as they are, to be as formal and precise as possible. They are NOT suitable for learning from, but are intended rather to be used as the ultimate authority to check with on any language issue.
Also, check the comp.std.c++ FAQ. http://reality.sgi.com/austern_mti/std-c++/faq.html