Anti the ‘Anti’ in the Anti-QES

Hello everybody,

For those who don’t know, we have had a wonderful response to our mission, but a lukewarm response to our name. It seems that we might come across as slightly aggressive and negative, and it might be mistaken for being against ‘the Queen’s English’ rather than the QES  (as David Crystal also pointed out) … Even though lots of us are against the Queen’s English as a concept, that’s not the point of the group!!! Some  people were also worried about joining a group against the Queen; would they lose their visas? Get arrested? In short, I can see the possibility of making this a more inclusive group if we had a more inclusive name: one that’s more in the spirit of our cooperative approach to language and linguistics.

Below are some suggestions that have been received by the kind people at BAAL (The British Association of Applied Linguistics), and there are some great suggestions. Please either comment or let me know which you like, if you’d rather keep ‘A-QES’, or if you have any other suggestions for names! I’ve kept the names of the people who suggested them anonymous. I’m not trying to steal their wonderful ideas, it’s just because BAAL mail is private and this is public access.

Our original thought processes behind choosing a name were: 1) when somebody types “the Queen’s English Society” into a search engine, prospective QES members would find us too (to reach people who may think of the QES as apolitical and knowledgeable) and 2) to make it clear from the title that we stand in opposition to the QES (this is our central purpose and it should be clear from the title… and it should engage people who are interested in the QES in a clearly critical/relevant way – making it clear that we think of the QES as controversial). 

Suggested names are:

* The People’s English Society


*Not The Queen’s English Society (note: it sounds like “Anti-QES” when you say “NTQES”)
*The Queen’s Vernacular Society
*The English Vernacular Society
*The Plain English Society


* The Queen’s English Myth Society


*The Real English Society (polyglot pun noted!)


* Da neu Queen’s English Societeey (to fully represent everybody)

* The Alternative Queen’s English Society

*The New Option Queen’s English Society


*The Living and Ever Changing English Society

Thank you once again for some very clever suggestions, and for bringing the issue with the name to light in the first place.

Please let me know what you think about the re-naming issue.

Robert Baird

10 Responses to “Anti the ‘Anti’ in the Anti-QES”
  1. Bob T Bright says:

    How about: ‘The Queen’s English (and Quite a Few Others’ Too) Society’… which would have the advantage of the catchy acronym QEQFOTS?!

  2. Another suggestion I’ve received: ’21st century / C21 queen’s english society’

  3. Most support is coming for Not The Queen’s English Society. I also received the suggestion of ‘The Non-Queen’s English Society’, giving it a linguistic edge. I’m not sure what you think? …

    • Mr. Baird offers a very long and well-argued attack on Dr Lamb and does so – despite himself – in pure Queen’s English.
      It is easy for the intellectual elite and well-educated to fire shots at one another over the heads of the illiterate masses but while that is being done, precisely those masses of victims of a deficient education system continue to make their own inarticulate noises in one form or another of anglo-babble.
      Rather than wasting reams of space on ridiculing those who are trying to assist the linguistically less privileged than themselves to acquire a sufficient level of literacy in order that they may be able to survive in the real world, let these destructive critics of the well-meaning join forces with the constructive critics for the benefit of those who really need help.
      The fact remains that all languages, regardless of rantings to the contrary, have a basic set of rules applicable at any given time; after all, are those not the rules taught to foreign learners of a language? Why should those rules not be applied equally by native speakers.
      Mr. Baird et al, if you are not willing to help those less linguistically privileged than yourself to master their mother-tongue, please refrain from denigrating those who do care – not about the Queen but about the English that her subjects (citizens?) speak.

      Martin Estinel

      • G. Uttersnipe says:

        You aren’t helping. Your academy is not special. It exists to denigrate and to snipe; you falsely accuse others of having some hidden prejudices, while making no attempt to hide your own. That’s what puts people off your organisation. Well, that and the linguistic incompetence. Is “anglo-babble” a technical term or just a thoughtless insult? Which regions is it spoken in?

  4. Stan says:

    I like the original name, but I understand why it’s a problem. There’s also the fact that prefix-based names like The Anti-Queen’s English Society and The Non-Queen’s English Society suggest the existence of, respectively, an Anti-Queen and a Non-Queen. Multiple hyphenation would be less ambiguous but far more unsightly and just generally worse, I suppose.

    For what it’s worth, I like The Alternative Queen’s English Society and Not The Queen’s English Society, and I have one suggestion to add to the list: The Pawns’ English Society.

  5. Marc Leavitt says:

    Using a negative title actually gives the QES free advertising. How about the Living English Society? That incorporates the contention that English is constantly evolving in all its dialectal permutations.

  6. Marc Leavitt says:

    Some time has passed since the original call for suggestions. From reviewing them it seems that most people are stuck on modifications of “The Queen’s English Society,” such as(non-), (anti-) … Society, myself included. Another suggestion: Choose a totally different name. These ARE only suggestions, but how about…”Evolving English,” “Dynamic English,” or, getting rid of the whole title, includin g the word “English”; “Did I hear you right?,” “Can we talk?,” “I hear what you say,” “Thats not what my mother said,” “Permutations,” “All around the world,” “Shakespeare had a new word for it,” … the possibilities are endless.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] as he praises Baird’s analysis, Martin Estinel takes a potshot at “the illiterate masses” and their “inarticulate noises”. Classy. Sneering disdain […]

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