More about the Society
In the words of Dr BERNARD LAMB, President of the Queen's English Society:
"Standards of English are much too low in this country, as shown by Queen's English Society surveys of UK undergraduates and of young entrants to industry and commerce, by reports from the Institute of Directors, the Confederation of British Industry, and by comments from university examiners, A/L and GCSE examiners, and others. Most of the educational establishment is very complacent about these low standards, and the government attitude is that standards are ever increasing, because exam pass rates are increasing. There are very few organisations fighting for higher standards of English in Britain. The Queen's English Society has repeatedly exposed poor standards through books, newspaper articles and TV and radio broadcasts. We believe in the explicit teaching of grammar, spelling and punctuation."
"Our aims are to improve standards of English, to encourage people to know more about our wonderful language, to use it more effectively and to enjoy it more. As well as exposing poor English standards, we award an annual prize for excellent English. We hold regular branch and national meetings, usually with a speaker, and where members can express their own views. Our journal, Quest, provides a printed medium for those views."
The QES is membership-based. Our members pay
a small annual subscription, which contributes to
the cost of printing and distributing Quest and the
QES Newsletter 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
Further information about the Society can be
within our Policy Document.
You can also download a PDF version
of the document.
The Society's CONSTITUTION
may be viewed here
or you may prefer to
download the PDF file
So WHY do we exist?
Our aims are clear but how can we achieve them? We
are not a teaching organisation, although the
Objects of the Society, (to be found in our
"teaching" as a priority. We also plan to
make available on-line examples of best practice on
topics such as letter writing and the preparation
of curricula vitae (CVs).
Although QES should and must remain completely non-political, we can try to influence policy-makers in government and its departments, so that future generations will learn to use proper English throughout their lives and, in particular, in their chosen careers.
It cannot be right that teachers are not able to correct poor English in their students' work, do not have the time to do so or are actively prohibited from doing so. Why is it that employers cannot recruit workers who are able to communicate correctly with their organisations' customers and clients and have to provide remedial classes in English and indeed maths for their less able workers?
What we CAN do
Once we start to care about
the decline in standards of English, we will notice
how poor the situation is. The QES will
continue to lobby and campaign in support of
parents, teachers and employers, for the right to
an education system that will produce future
generations of (yes) fully educated parents,
teachers, employers and citizens.
We, the Queen's English Society, must increase our efforts to seek out, expose and complain about instances of terrible English standards in the broadcast and print media, particularly when such sins are committed by publicly funded bodies, such as the BBC. There are always going to be slips in live broadcasting, but writers, programme makers and the people who appear on TV and radio, or write for our newspapers must, if necessary, be embarrassed into striving for the highest possible standards in the use of English.
Competing for proper English
The advances in technology cannot and should not be stopped. The text message is here to stay, until something even quicker comes along. The young chap in the picture has embraced this method of communicating. Indeed much of the work of the QES is done through modern communications, occasionally in so-called "text-speak". We cannot halt progress nor would we want to spoil the fun for this young man, but when it matters, he must be able to speak and write in an acceptable standard of English. If he fails, our language will become diluted by foreign (especially US) influences, short cuts in speech and writing and, as a result, the world, which depends so much on clear English, will be a poorer place.
Does the QES have its critics?
The answer to that question is simply, YES! Some people object to our very existence, in the mistaken belief that, because we all know the English language is changing as it evolves, we should simply let it happen. Others simply do not understand what we are trying to do, which is perfectly understandable. To read some FAQs about QES, please follow this link