The Queen's English Society was founded in 1972 and is a charity established to promote the maintenance, knowledge, development and appreciation of the English language. We welcome all people who share these aspirations.
English is facing many challenges
English is an unusual language given its global use and the need for clear communication between governments, universities, multinational enterprises and people at all levels. More people speak English as a second language than as a native tongue which may provide more scope for evolution and variation but puts more onus on the importance of clarity. Thus there is a demand for the citizens of the village to learn, speak and write in good, clear, understandable English.
The challenges to careful use of English as for any language come mainly from the apathy of users. The QES exists to watch out for and help to avoid changes that are detrimental to its impact and clarity, the latter being so important in the competitive world we inhabit. Some languages have official guardians whose role is to specify ways in which the language should be used. Our role by contrast is to expose better and preferred methods of communication in an effort to encourage people to adopt greater clarity.
What can be done?
With our members' support, the QES sees itself as a guardian of proper English; we should strive to prevent any decline in standards in its use. We take the opportunity to comment on the forms of English we find in print and broadcast media and we promote high quality writing through our award of an annual prize for Excellent English.
We raise issues in our journal, QUEST, and on these pages. In the workplace, we can strive to make documents clear and effective, documents that repay the effort that was put into producing them and reward the scrutiny of the reader.
The QES is membership-based. Our members pay a small annual subscription, which contributes to the cost of printing and distributing Quest and to the general administration of our organisation as well as helping to meet costs connected with our website. We have a Board of Trustees, a President, Chairman and Vice Chairman, a Secretary/Administrator, Treasurer, Quest Editor, Media Consultant and a Membership Secretary.
Further information about the Society can be found within our Policy Document.
The Society's Constitution may be viewed here.
So why do we exist?
Our aims are clear but how can we achieve them?
We do not run schools or classes, though we occasionally give individual advice. We teach by example, particularly in our journal Quest, and by our publicity in newspapers and on television. We use our website to share examples of good practice and to provide guides to some of the more challenging elements of grammar or language use.
As a charity the QES must remain completely non-political but we can try to influence policy-makers so that future generations will learn to use proper English throughout their lives and, in particular, in their chosen careers.
Answers to some frequently asked questions about our work can be found here.