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Small-Handed Tweens Linked to the Disappearance of the Cheetah

by Camella Lobo 

Tags: Great Writing, literary news, dictionary, words, Robert Michael Pyle, Orion,

teensThe latest edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary (OJD) will be published without an evolving list of seemingly passé entries, which includes; tulip, melon, acorn, fungus, cheetah, leopard, beaver, otter and magpie, among many others. The dictionary’s publisher, Oxford University Press (OUP), is perpetuating a bleak world without violets, bluebells or passenger pigeons, writes Robert Michael Pyle in the July issue of Orion. But there are plenty of blackberries there (and not the kind you eat.) He writes:

On the other hand, in OJD-world you’ll have no trouble locating blogs or chatrooms. Celebrities are there, spending euros. You can check your broadband MP3 player and send attachments with bullet points, all while bungee jumping if you so desire…

OUP responded that the volume must be kept small for small hands, so when new words are added to keep up with the times, old words must come out. Sharp howls of protest arose from people who hold to the quaint belief that an essential societal good comes from young people getting to know –or at least know about—their natural surroundings.

Also on the chopping block— canary, lark, dandelion, lavender, willow, weasel, porcupine, fern, beech, sycamore, pelican, starling and stork.

Source: Orion (article not yet available online)

Image by YoungLadAustin, licensed under Creative Commons.