Bosses at Lancaster University know they are speaking the language of success - and have the royal seal of approval to prove it.
The institution’s world-renowned language pioneers, spanning four generations of researchers, have received The Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
Vice chancellor, Professor Mark E Smith, and the director of the Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science and Distinguished Professor of English language and linguistics Prof Tony McEnery travelled to Buckingham Palace to collect the award from HRH Prince Charles.
Researchers at the Centre, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, charitable trusts and other research councils, have provided valuable insights into the understanding of language by using computers to analyse billions of words,in writing, speech and online,for the past 45 years.
The work has resulted in a range of important, ‘real world’ applications such as vastly improved dictionaries and has also influenced policy towards important issues such as online aggression, hate speech and the way in which end of life care is discussed.
Afterwards Prof McEnery said: “The Prince of Wales asked the vice-chancellor about our work and was fascinated to discover what we have undertaken in the past 40 years.
“Princess Anne, also at the ceremony, talked to me and was particularly interested in the impact of our work on dictionary making.”
He added: “The Duchess of Cornwall asked me about the practical applications of our work in social media and made a point of talking to all of the students and staff with us to find out about their work.
“Our group was visited by the Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson and Sir John Chilcott, both of whom were very interested in Lancaster’s pioneering work in this area
Accompanying the vice-chancellor and Prof McEnery to the palace were the Chancellor of Lancaster University, the Rt Hon Alan Milburn, chief administrative afficer Nicola Owen, Dr Claire Hardaker , Dr Václav Brezina and a small group of students.