Lost for words?
It was recently announced that certain words have been dropped from a leading dictionary for children. Dictionaries, where would we be without them? They are the source of our knowledge of words, and without words we would have no language. So, why are we losing words?
The publishers claim that the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a ‘modern, multicultural, multifaith society’ And what is to replace these words? Inevitably it has been decided that the words removed are being replaced with more contemporary and used and understood on a daily basis; words like ‘blog’, ‘mp3’ and ‘voicemail’. Perhaps the most important point to make is that we don’t loose words even if a dictionary decides not to include them. The words are still with us; in fact as the words in question are associated with Christianity, the monarchy, British history and the countryside, it is obvious that many will continue to use them.
I’m sure we all regret changes like these, but to the average student of English it is doubtful if they will mourn their passing when new and more exciting and useful words are constantly being added to our language. That’s how the English language keeps developing!
What words would you remove and what words would you add? Let us know
Words taken out:
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
Words put in:
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