Textspeak spells demise of Queen's English fans
London: Amidst the partying with pomp and pageantry over the Diamond Jubilee weekend to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's reign, one organisation that tried to uphold "Queen's English" in the age of text and twitter has decided to fold for want of support.
The Queen's English Society (QES), which for 40 years championed proper English and railed against the misuse and falling standards of the English language, announced its decision to close from 30 June.
QES chairperson Rhea Williams announced the decision to fold at the annual meeting last week, at which 22 members attended.
The society publishes a magazine, Quest, which is also in its last issue.
She regretted that despite requests for nominations for chairman, vice-chairman, administrator, web master, and membership secretary, no one came forward to fill any role.
Williams said: "So I have to inform you that QES will no longer exist. There will be one more Quest then all activity will cease and the society will be wound up. The effective date will be June 30, 2012."
"Things change, people change. People care about different things. If you look at lots of societies, lots of them are having problems. Lives have changed dramatically over the last 40 years. People don't want to join societies like they used to," she added.
With "Good English Matters" as its motto, QES constitution says: "The objectives of the society are to promote the maintenance, knowledge, understanding, development and appreciation of the English language as used both in speech and writing; to educate the public in its correct and elegant usage; and to discourage the intrusion of anything detrimental to clarity or euphony."
However, despite growing awareness across Britain, particularly in the higher education sector, about falling standards of English among students, QES efforts has evidently not found many takers as language associated with text, twitters becomes more popular.
The QES wanted to increase 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, it says.
Over the years, QES has championed the need to improve the standard of written and spoken English in Britain, the revival of the reading of stories to young children to get them to appreciate and understand the language from an early age, and the improvement of the standard of English in exams.