Sunday, 26 May 2013

Losing the language

I'm reading Sara Maitland's Gossip from the Forest. On page 106, she notes the following changes in the 2008 new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary. 

New words: database, export, curriculum, vandalism, negotiate, committee, compulsory, bullet point, voicemail, citizenship, dyslexic and celebrity.

Words removed: catkin, brook, acorn, buttercup, blackberry, conker, holly, ivy, mistletoe.

My reaction is visceral and furious. Who could possibly take 'acorn' out of a children's dictionary? Are conkers really no longer part of the necessary vocabulary of every British child? How will future generations get through the winters without the words for holly, ivy and mistletoe?

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