Queen’s English Society says enuf is enough, innit?

Society formed 40 years ago to protect language against poor spelling and grammar closes because too few people care.

The Guardian reports: “The Queen may be celebrating her jubilee, but the Queen’s English Society, which has railed against the misuse and deterioration of the English language, is to fold.

For 40 years the society has championed good English – and hasn’t been above the occasional criticism of the Queen’s own pronouncements – but it has finally conceded that it cannot survive in the era of textspeak and Twitter.

Having attempted to identify a role for the society and its magazine, Quest, “for the next 40 years”, the society chairman, Rhea Williams, decided it was time to close. She announced the group’s demise in a terse message to members following the annual meeting, which just 22 people attended. “Despite the sending out of a request for nominations for chairman, vice-chairman, administrator, webmaster and membership secretary, no one came forward to fill any role,” she said. “So I have to inform you that QES will no longer exist. There will be one more Quest, then all activity will cease and the society will be wound up. The effective date will be 30 June 2012.”

She said it was sad that the society was to close but added that the difficulty in getting people to take on roles in the society was a problem being experienced by other groups across the UK.

“Things change, people change,” she said. “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.”

Former Tory MP Gyles Brandreth, the society’s patron, was nevertheless optimistic: “The Queen’s English isn’t under threat. Her Majesty can sleep easy. The language is still in the good hands of all the people who speak good English.”

He described the members and organisers of the society as “a group of enthusiasts celebrating the richness and diversity of the English language”, and is convinced that whether or not enough volunteers can be found to keep the society going, their enthusiasm and love for good English will live on.

He added: “I spoke to the society about six months ago. They were in good heart.”

The closure followed a major setback earlier this year when the society’s plans for an Academy of Contemporary English collapsed.”

Read on at The Guardian.


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