Whither the hollyhock and the dew on the queen?

So then there’s this other thing with this ‘junior dictionary’ (what’s a junior dictionary? why not just have a regular dictionary and use it as needed? what’s the point of having a special dictionary that won’t have the words that you don’t know what they mean?) that’s part of a sinister plot to get rid of words about Christianity and the queen and flowers so that there won’t be any more Britishness. Something like that.

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.

Really? How does Julie Henry know that OUP replaced the first words with the other words? Did OUP tell her that? Did OUP confess to having held editorial meetings in which everyone sat around saying ‘let’s drop “bishop” and replace it with “blog”‘ and ‘hoo ya let’s do that hey’?

The publisher claims the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society.

Well, somebody should give them a good hard kick if they really said that, for sure, but I still doubt the whole replacement scenario.

An analysis of the word choices made by the dictionary lexicographers has revealed that entries from “abbey” to “willow” have been axed. Instead, words such as “MP3 player”, “voicemail” and “attachment” have taken their place.

Entries ‘from “abbey” to “willow”‘ – meaning what? All the words between abbey and willow? Probably not. But what then? Oh, you know – you can do the math – words like clerestory, and nuncio, and archepiscopal, and other words like tapir, and hystrix, and tamandua. But what the two categories have to do with each other…only a master at a private school could say.

Anthony Seldon, the master of Wellington College, a leading private school in Berkshire, said: “I am stunned that words like “saint”, “buttercup”, “heather” and “sycamore” have all gone and I grieve it.

Well quite. Children who want to pray to Saint Buttercup have nowhere to go now. It’s heart-rending.

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