This day’s portion Navigation Menu

Why nobody mourns the Queen's English Society

The problem with the Queen’s English Society wasn’t its obsession with apostrophes (tiresome though that no doubt is to 99% of the world). It was the name.

There are many ways to speak and write English, and there are many reasons for speaking and writing English in a particular way. One moment you’re writing a blog post, the next you’re tweeting or sending a text. It is worth knowing how to use an apostrophe correctly (or when to use one) because it’ll make your meaning clearer when you’re writing an essay. But that’s different from saying a certain mode of English is better than all the others.

English is spontaneous. It’s absurd to try and impose one set of rules on everyone for use at all times. By conflating class (ma’am) and proper usage you’re basically saying that your English isn’t worthy. Which is a sure fire way of encouraging yet more improper dialects.

And Gyles Brandreth doesn’t help.