Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Brave New World

Robert Burchfield, Unlocking the English Language (London: Faber and Faber, 1989; rpt. New York: Hill and Wang, 1991), p. 88:
An English-language dictionary, even one as large and hospitable as the OED, cannot accommodate all the members of certain classes of words and conversely, must exclude all, or all but a few, of other classes.
Julie Henry, "Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children's dictionary," Telegraph (Dec. 8, 2008):
Oxford University Press has removed words like "aisle", "bishop", "chapel", "empire" and "monarch" from its Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like "blog", "broadband" and "celebrity". Dozens of words related to the countryside have also been culled.

The publisher claims the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society.
Among the words removed are: acorn, ash, beech, chestnut, dandelion, devil, dwarf, elf, fern, gorse, heather, holly, ivy, manger, monk, newt, nun, ox, pasture, primrose, raven, sin, starling, sycamore, walnut, willow.

Among the words added are: bullet point, bungee jumping, chatroom, cut and paste, EU, Euro, MP3 player, voicemail.

Hat tip: Dennis Mangan.

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