Nature Words Deleted from the Dictionary..oh no!


 In 2009 Oxford Junior Dictionary (Oxford University Press) revealed a list of the entries it no longer felt to be relevant to a modern-day childhood. So they deleted these words from the Junior dictionary. These are the words deleted:

acorn
adder
ash
beech
bluebell


buttercup
catkin
cowslip,
cygnet
dandelion
fern


hazel
heather
heron,
 ivy
kingfisher,


 lark
mistletoe,
nectar
newt
otter,
pasture and 
willow



The words taking their places in the new edition included attachmentblock-graphblogbroadbandbullet-pointcelebrity,chatroomcommitteecut-and-pasteMP3 player and voice-mail.


This is an outright shame because as  Wendell Berry wrote: “... we need a particularizing language, for we love what we particularly know.”



When I was a child, I asked my mother what this was (see above), she said it was Nature. For some time after that, every time someone said the word, 'Nature', I imagined a dandelion seedhead.  

“Humans seldom value what they cannot name.”  - Elaine Brooks







Comments

  1. Thank-you for sharing this. It is a call to those who will continue to use these words with children, and adults, alike. Because it seems that it is the adults who have forgotten how Important they are! - Xine Crowell

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  2. That is pathetic, and ignorant. Couldn't they add the new words, without deleted others? And they ARE relevant. My three-year-old knows very well what dandelions, willows, otters, buttercups, ferns, nectar, ivy and acorns are. Just from being in the yard, playing in the park or taking walks outside we talk about nature all the time. I'm sure we're not the only family who does this!!

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  3. Here's another word that's probably not in the Junior dictionary: condescending. As in "The Junior Dictionary epitomizes the condescending idea that a group of editors decides what words are 'relevant' to children." If your child is old enough for a dictionary, get them a real one and teach them that it's their friend.

    Yes, it's true that they will inevitably end up using it to look up a naughty word at some point, but the risk of that is worth the outcome of them learning from an early age that big words and rare words and hard-to-pronounce words (and, now, nature words) are their allies, not something they need to be protected from.

    ReplyDelete

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