Deleted words from the Oxford children's dictionary

yoyobon_gw

In early 2015, when the 10,000-entry Oxford children’s dictionary dropped around fifty words related to nature — words like fern, willow, and starling — in favor of terms like broadband and cut and paste, some of the world’s most prominent authors composed an open letter of protest and alarm at this impoverishment of children’s vocabulary and its consequent diminishment of children’s belonging to and with the natural world.


To read the article:


https://mailchi.mp/brainpickings/kahlil-gibran-adam-gopnik-robert-macfarlane?e=d4525bec91

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sheri_z6

Yoyobon, thank you for sharing that article. What a lovely book! I'd like to have a copy for myself, someday.

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yoyobon_gw

I just treated myself to a copy for my B-day :0)

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vee_new

There was a BBC radio discussion on this a while ago. It seems 'those who know best' decided that children no longer get out in the fresh air so know little about 'nature' . .. and presumably need not to be encouraged to do more than 'look up' the information on the computer.

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yoyobon_gw

This is a very disturbing trend. My DH and I often reminisce about how great our childhoods were.....kids would play from dawn to dusk with breaks for meals. You couldn't wait to get outside and play. Rainy days were the only reason to have to stay inside and without TV we relied on our imagination, books and games to entertain ourselves. It was unthinkable that we'd ever sit and do nothing. We were never bored or without adventure. Our bikes and our legs took us everywhere we needed to go to find fun to fill our day.

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socks

It’s startling to learn those words omitted. How could they? The book is stunning and affordably priced too. The artwork is worthy of framing.

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colleenoz

That’s appalling. Surely those 50 words can’t have taken up more than a page. What’s the need to delete them?

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yoyobon_gw

Soon all people will need is a copy of the Urban Dictionary for any words they need to use.

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laceyvail 6A, WV

In summer, at our summer place in upstate NY, my mother would pack us children sandwiches in the morning, and we would be gone for hours, over the fields, through the woods, along the stream, to return home only when we felt like it. We didn't have TV in our summer place (and never really missed it). On rainy days, we read and played games. It was paradise.

And I never remember seeing a tick or hearing about them. The first time I saw one I was in my mid 20s. Times have changed. And not for the better.

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yoyobon_gw

Where was your summer place Laceyvail ?

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yoyobon_gw

These aren't in the word book but I wonder if they also deleted : Please, Thank you and bread and butter note.

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donnamira

I agree with Sheri on how lovely is that book described in the link in the original post, and it is now in my Amazon shopping cart. And in a sort of coincidence, the link is to a blog/newsletter from the author of a book (Figuring) which got a good review in my local paper and is now sitting on MtTBR from the library. (unfortunately, my first look at it was not particularly favorable - more on that in another post sometime).

On to childhood games - in the city, we played Tarzan outside (especially after a tree was struck by lightning and the yard was covered in leafy branches for a few days) and inside we played Romeo & Juliet (the cellar stairs standing in for a balcony). Lots of playing with dolls, including throwing them from the front porch out into the yard, so we could rush out and rescue them from the stormy sea of the front lawn, which is how my 1959 first-issue Barbie doll lost her earrings, broke her fingers, got a grass stain on her swimsuit and became worthless as a collector item! Later when we moved to the country, we spent the days playing Explorers in the woods. And yes, we also were told to watch for ticks even before the days of Lyme disease, even though I never actually got one on me until I was in my 20's and walking around a pond in Maryland. We also had to watch for snakes and poison ivy. But that's exploring. :)

A bit sad that the dictionary-makers gave up so many nature words - which are actually much less familiar to today's urbanized kids - in favor of tech-related words, which my guess is that they all know.


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