Unmourned: The Queen's English Society

June 05, 2012|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

Suddenly, in Britain, of attenuated interest, the Queen's English Society. The organization of crotchet collectors was forty.

After the failure of the society's much-ridiculed project for an Academy of English, will waned quickly. The Independent reports that at the society's annual meeting, with an attendance of twenty-two, its chairman, Rhea Williams, announced, "Despite the sending out of a request for nominations for chairman, vice-chairman, administrator, web master, and membership secretary no one came forward to fill any role."

Consequently, "I have to inform you that QES will no longer exist."

This does not, of course, mean that the Peeververein will also melt away or lack outlets. The New Yorker is keen to demonstrate that it has learned nothing about linguistics and lexicography in half a century. Britain's Daily Mail flails away at the pernicious prevalence of Americanisms and American culture in general, a sturdy meme that has had a guaranteed audience ever since Mrs. Trollope visited these shores.

Still, the quiet demise of an organization of well-meaning but badly misinformed cranks is a happy occasion, magnified by the realization that no one was paying much attention to them in the first place.

Gone, but not forgotten.


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