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About the QES website

The Society first launched its website in March 2009.  We asked for and received your feedback about our site, its content and its useability. We have taken notice of your comments and decided to re-design it completely. 

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More about us


  QES Policy Document           

  Who's who


  Campaign (contd).
   One in five - unable to read
   Spelling standards of                      undergraduates
    British education - 2010
    An ex-teacher reminisces

                                      About the QES                                  

The Queen's English Society was founded in 1972 by Joe Clifton, an Oxford graduate and schoolteacher. A letter he had sent to his local newspaper (the West Sussex Gazette) deploring the current decline in standards of English had resulted in so many sympathetic letters from readers that he was encouraged to form a group to try to do something about the problem. Today, we have a membership of around one thousand, mostly United Kingdom residents, but interest is growing worldwide. In the UK we have registered charity status.

Arundel Castle, where the QES started

                              Who's who in the QES                            

To view a growing list of supporters who have taken on the task of running the Society, please click here.

                            English is facing many challenges                      

In a world now increasingly spoken of as a global village, governments, multinational enterprises and universities are all speaking to each other in English. Thus there is a demand for the citizens of the village to learn, speak and write in English and moreover, good, clear, understandable English. Unfortunately, many people deny that there is such a need. Every time something goes wrong such as an engineering disaster or a failure on the part of the police or social services, we hear the phrase "communications failure." But nobody will plainly admit that it was a failure to read and write documents in standard English. The challenges to our beautiful and concise English language come mainly from the apathy of its own users, although others come from beyond our shores. They include calls for spelling reform and the abandonment of punctuation, to name but two. English will evolve over time, but the QES exists to watch for and to resist changes that are detrimental to its impact and clarity, the latter being so important in the competitive world we inhabit.

                                What can be done?                                   

With our members' support, The QES can become the recognised guardian of proper English and we should strive to halt the decline in standards in its use. We should increase our efforts to monitor the print and broadcast media, and support teachers in their campaign to have more time to TEACH. We will raise issues in our journal, QUEST, and on these pages, listen to the radio, watch television and read the papers and tell them when they have got it wrong. We must form pressure groups (branches of the Society) in the regions, and make ourselves known to the Education Authorities, libraries, local newspapers and broadcasters. In the workplace, we can strive to make documents clear and effective, documents that repay the effort that was put into producing them.

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