Queen Elizabeth II may be celebrating her jubilee, but the Queen’s English Society, which has railed against the misuse and deterioration of the language, is to fold.
For 40 years, the society has championed good English — and has not been above the occasional criticism of the Queen’s own standards of English — but it has finally conceded 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, 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, Web master and membership secretary, no one came forward to fill any role,” she said.
Former Tory member of parliament 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.”
Among issues the society has championed are the need to improve the standard of English and improving the standard of English in exams. One of its achievements was helping to shape the spelling, punctuation and grammar elements of English in the national curriculum.