Some Canadians are upset that the new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary, a sort of practice dictionary for seven-year-olds, has dropped several words from nature in favor of tech terms. From the Canadian Press:
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,” Mr. Bateman said in an interview with The
“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.”
“I don't want to sound like an old you-know-what, but I have a
feeling that quite a number of decisions are made by 20-somethings or
30-somethings,” he said. “There are a whole bunch of them out there who
were raised on Saturday morning cartoons and video games and not out in
Mr. Bateman plans to fire off a letter to the university press brass in protest.
“I find it frightening what is happening, that people are losing a connection with nature,” he said.
I think the uproar is a bit silly, but still… broadband? Blackberry?
The photo of blackberries (the old-fashioned kind) is from wildmanstevebrill.com.