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Removal of Nature Words from Dictionary Causes Uproar

Removal of Nature Words from Dictionary Causes Uproar
A B.C. environmental group is flabbergasted that the publisher of the Oxford Junior Dictionary has sent words like "beaver" and "dandelion" the way of the dodo bird. In the latest version of its dictionary for schoolchildren, Oxford University Press has cut nature terms such as heron, magpie, otter, acorn, clover, ivy, sycamore, willow and blackberry.

In their place, the university publishing house has substituted more modern terms, like the electronic Blackberry, blog, MP3 player, voicemail and broadband.
Canadian wildlife artist and conservationist Robert Bateman, whose Get to Know Program has been inspiring children to go outdoors and "get to know" their wild neighbours for more than a decade, said the decision is telling kids that nature just isn't that important.

"This is another nail in the coffin of human beings being acquainted with nature," Bateman said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
"If you can't name things, how can you love them? And if you don't love them, then you're not going to care a hoot about protecting them or voting for issues that would protect them."

Environmentalists likely won't be the only ones stewing over the revisions.

Also gone from the text, which is available in Canada and throughout the English-speaking world, are Christian phrases like nun, monk, saint, disciple, psalm and christen.
No one from Oxford University Press was immediately available for a comment but a statement from the press said the junior dictionary, which is aimed at seven-year-olds, has fewer words than…
B stands for blog, not beaver by JOSH WINGROVE

1 Comment

  1. Re. Deleted Dictionary Nature Words

    Delighted to say that there have been 8 splendid reviews of my latest children’s poetry collection Adder, Bluebell, Lobster (Otter-Barry Books); the collections takes 40 of the 110 nature words deleted from the Oxford Junior Dictionary as titles. Paul Bommer’s fine illustrations ’embody the spirit of the poetry’. Here are excerpts from 5 of the reviews.

    ‘Young readers will delight in the various personalities she attributes to a species including cute newt, melons having a party and a street dancing hazel tree. Poems such as ‘Bluebell’. ‘Otter’ and ‘Tulip’ are more reflective and encourage a closer look at the natural world which surrounds us. A very satisfying collection for its variety of moods and striking descriptive details.’ Elaine Chant, Carousel No. 63, November 2016

    ‘Above all, Gittins has a real sense of her audience. She begins from their experience and gently moves her readers into places of observation, contemplation, imagination and, sometimes, silliness, which are poetic without being portentous or pretentious.’ Clive Barnes, Books for Keeps, 221, November 2016

    ‘Playful, energetic and always tongue-in-cheek, this offers the perfect introduction to poetry for those who are a bit bored with the same old nursery rhymes. In Adder, Bluebell, Lobster Chrissie Gittins lets her words and ideas dance from the page – she even allows parsnips to twinkle! Surprises wait in every single poem.’ Alvy Carragher, Inis Reading Guide, Children’s Books Ireland, 2016/17

    ‘There is much to savour in this wide-ranging poetry anthology about all things wild. Using a variety of styles, such as haikus and shape poems, and a mixture of witty, poignant and lyrical verse, each featured plant or animal is given a distinct personality. Meet the bossy beetroot, with its velvet texture, painting everything it touches with deep maroon juice; imagine a solitary lark, spilling notes from high skies; or reflect upon the redness of the thin, papery petals of a poppy. … this entertaining collection can be enjoyed in the classroom, at home, or in the great outdoors and will encourage young readers to wonder at the language and objects to be found in the natural world.’ BookTrust, November 2016

    ‘The poems are superbly descriptive – bluebells are described as ‘a cobalt belt, a lake of bell towers nodding onwards in the wind.’ The poems use words to great effect – the vocabulary is superb and a great way to extend children’s own use of language. The poems will really encourage children to take note of the world which surrounds us – an excellent collection.’
    Parents in Touch, 3rd August 2016

    Full reviews on the children’s poetry page of my website: http://www.chrissiegittins.co.uk/children.htm

    Hope this might be of interest.

    Every good wish,
    Chrissie
    http://www.chrissiegittins.co.uk

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