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