08 December 2008

Oxford English Dictionary, Changing With the Times

This just in:

Words taken out of the Oxford Junior Dictionary include: Carol, cracker, holly, ivy, mistletoe, dwarf, elf, goblin, abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar, coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade adder, ass, beaver, boar, budgerigar, bullock, cheetah, colt, corgi, cygnet, doe, drake, ferret, gerbil, goldfish, guinea pig, hamster, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, minnow, mussel, newt, otter, ox, oyster, panther, pelican, piglet, plaice, poodle, porcupine, porpoise, raven, spaniel, starling, stoat, stork, terrapin, thrush, weasel, wren. Acorn, allotment, almond, apricot, ash, bacon, beech, beetroot, blackberry, blacksmith, bloom, bluebell, bramble, bran, bray, bridle, brook, buttercup, canary, canter, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, county, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, diesel, fern, fungus, gooseberry, gorse, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, liquorice, manger, marzipan, melon, minnow, mint, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, pasture, poppy, porridge, poultry, primrose, prune, radish, rhubarb, sheaf, spinach, sycamore, tulip, turnip, vine, violet, walnut, willow.

This is, apparently, cause they represent a Britain which no longer exists. England is moving on. They have new words, though, such as blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, attachment, database, export, chatroom, bullet point, cut and paste, analogue, celebrity, tolerant, vandalism, negotiate, interdependent, creep, citizenship, childhood, conflict, common sense, debate, EU, drought, brainy, boisterous, cautionary tale, bilingual, bungee jumping, committee, compulsory, cope, democratic, allergic, biodegradable, emotion, dyslexic, donate, endangered, Euro Apparatus, food chain, incisor, square number, trapezium, alliteration, colloquial, idiom, curriculum, classify, chronological, block graph.

I'm still annoyed that the language no longer sustains words like swyve and swink, though, so there's no point in me getting all riled about this. And one of those words wouldn't have been appropriate for a children's dictionary, anyway. But I don't know HOW I'm going to explain all this to the corgi.


Scott said...

Vicar, stoat, fern and lavender are not as important as incisor and bungee jumping?!?!? You're kidding me, right?

Where are we going? And why am I in this handbasket?

Marjie said...

Okay, what in the hell is a *Euro Apparatus*??

Yeah, yeah, I'll look it up.

But this is why one MUST own OLD dictionaries. Cause the books these words can be found in are still read and what is one to do when one needs a definition?
Poor kiddies. They won't know their flowers, fruits, vegetables, or dogs.
Poor Rhys. Why don't you put off telling him until after Christmas.
Then, you can break it to him while he is noshing on a an ox bone.

Really though, some of these words son't actually seem to be all that obsolete.

What will they do when they are reading Hamlet?
Child: *What's a nunnery?*

Parent: *No more hamsters for you young lady!
Child: *What's a hamster?*

Oh dear, will *minister* really end up in a book of exotic words?

Sorry. I went on and on. But I am stunned.

Okay, okay, it is the Junior Dictionary but still.

anne hill said...

More to the point, what will become of British comedy with a whole generation not knowing the definitions of sin, devil, saint, disciple, monastery, monk, nun, duchess, vicar, or marzipan??!

Need I remind the venerable Oxford literary scions that humor is arguably *the* finest British export? In these extreme times of financial duress, shouldn't they be focused on maintaining their simple yet far-reaching investment in this industry?

Pandora said...

Good point, Anne.

They'll be stuck with nothing but Big Brother and How Clean is Your House.

Anonymous said...

I am from England right? Tell the dog that another word has been banished........it is NO....
so it cannot be used towards him anymore....he will be pleased....

this fact is so true...really?


Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. So let me get this straight, gooseberry is out but Blackberry is in, right? I just hope I never catch my teenage son surfing for cyberporn while rubbing his TomTom with his PalmPilot!!