Queen’s English Society folds in face of changing nature of English

Founded 40 years ago to champion ‘good’ English and to improve the standard of written and spoken English, the Queen’s English Society will cease all activities on June 30, 2012. The QES’ main causes, among others, were to ‘celebrat[e] the richness and diversity of the English language’ and ‘[bring] to public attention the very low standards of English that exist’. Over the years, it has championed the ‘revival of reading stories to young children’ and ‘the improvement of the standard of English in exams’, and helped ‘shape the spelling, punctuation and grammar elements of English in the national curriculum’.

Recently, the society has struggled to find people interested in taking on official roles within QES. Society chair Rhea Williams: “Things change, people change. People care about different things. If you look at lots of societies, lots of them are having problems. Lives have changed dramatically over the last 40 years. People don’t want to join societies like they used to.”

To learn more about his story, read this article in the Guardian and this commentary by Prof Paul Kerswill, Professor of Sociolinguistics at University Of York, in the Sun.

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