Keep Calm And Carry On

Keep Calm And Carry On

Interesting Facts in Easy English

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • slogan: a catchy line of text used on a poster or product
  • boost: raise
  • Tudor Crown: a crown that symbolized the British monarch from 1902-1953 (also known as the King’s Crown)
  • held in reserve: stored for later use
  • public domain: not protected by copyright or trademark; available to the public for use and adaptation
  • catchy: easy to remember; usually wise or funny
  • parody: a funny adjustment to original material
  • knock-off: an imitation of the real thing

Keep Calm And Carry On

The Keep Calm And Carry On slogan was used on a motivational poster developed by the Ministry of Information in the UK. It was intended to boost the spirits of the British people before the Second World War. The Keep Calm poster was part of of three posters that all contained the Tudor Crown followed by a simple message for the British people. Millions of Keep Calm posters were held in reserve in case of a German , but were never used. In the year 2000, a copy of the Keep Calm poster was found in a box of books in a bookstore in England. The owners hung the poster up in their shop, and it became so popular that they began selling copies of it. The design is in the public domain since Crown Copyright on artistic works expires after 50 years. The catchy slogan quickly caught on and people began it and making parodies and knock-offs. Slogans such as Keep Calm And Eat Cupcakes or Keep Calm And Call Mom can be found on posters and products in many parts of the world.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What was the original purpose of the Keep Calm And Carry On poster?
  2. Who was responsible for popularizing this old slogan?
  3. What is the copyright status of this design?

Discussion Questions: What is it about the design of this poster and slogan that makes it so popular?

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