The Queen’s English Society is a membership organisation that exists to promote good English and the enjoyment of English.
The stated objects of the society are “to promote the maintenance, knowledge, understanding, development and appreciation of the English language as used both in speech and in writing; to educate the public in its correct and elegant usage; and to discourage the intrusion of anything detrimental to clarity or euphony.” The phrase “the queen’s (or king’s) English” has been used for centuries simply to imply spoken or written English which is characterised by grammatical correctness and proper usage of words and expressions. The phrase does not mean English necessarily modelled on the usage of the reigning British monarch.
The society welcomes people from anywhere in the world with an interest in excellence in the use of English. Although there are variations in vocabulary, particularly in the use of particular nouns in different locations, clarity in use of grammatical construction is an important aspiration of all who want to communicate clearly with one another.
The society strongly advocates the formal teaching of English in schools and the need for all teachers of all subjects to correct students' English. The society lobbies politicians and makes representations to the media about standards of English usage. The society’s commitment to good standards does not preclude the acceptance of English as an evolving language, but some changes are better than others.
There are regular branch and society meetings, often with a guest speaker. The society awards an annual prize for excellent English. Members receive the society's journal, Quest, which is published quarterly.
“Grammar, properly understood, enables us, not only to express our meaning fully and clearly, but so to express it as to enable us to defy the ingenuity of man to give our words any other meaning than that which we ourselves intend them to express.”
William Cobbett, Grammar of the English Tongue, 1818
We are delighted to announce our next poetry-writing competition...
Bernard Lamb, the Society’s President, writes:
We are pleased to announce the results...
In 2022, the Queen’s English Society celebrated...