08 June 2012

Queen’s English Society RIP

The Queen’s English Society is no more. Apparently it died of chronic apathy. Over at Language Log, Geoff Pullum has written an obituary in which he dissects the corpse, then scatters its dismembered remains to the four winds. He concludes:
The Queen’s English Society was a passing whim for the sort of people who write harrumphing letters to the Daily Telegraph, superficial and silly from the start. It never had a serious groundswell of educated opinion, or linguistic or literary understanding, or genuine missionary zeal behind it. For real work on educational questions like how to encourage clarity in writing and how to reduce the frequency of puzzlement due to genuine grammar errors, we’ll need a more serious effort, and a more informed and committed group of people than this sloppy and ineffectual ex-group of soi-disant grammar guardians.

Judging by the errors and infelicities he detects in the society’s final press release, the Queen’s English is better off for the demise of this body. The whole article is worth reading (here).