MP3 player, blog oust monarch, chapel from Junior Dictionary


The monarch along with the empire is on its way out, taking the bishop, the chapel and the carol along. A children’s dictionary has replaced these words with ‘in’ expressions like blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, chatroom and attachment! Oxford University Press (OUP), publishers of the 10,000-word Junior Dictionary, says the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multi-faith society, the Telegraph reported.

“When you look back at older versions of dictionaries, there were lots of examples of flowers for instance. That was because many children lived in semi-rural environments and saw the seasons. Nowadays, the environment has changed,” Vineeta Gupta, the head of children’s dictionaries at OUP, was quoted as saying.

“We are also much more multicultural. People don’t go to church as often as before. Our understanding of religion is within multiculturalism, which is why some words such as ‘Pentecost’ or ‘Whitsun’ would have been in 20 years ago but not now.”

Words like carol, holly, pulpit, saint and sin have been dropped as have porridge, poultry, prune, radish, spinach, sycamore, tulip and, even that very English expression willow.

In have come celebrity, tolerant, vandalism, creep, conflict, common sense, debate and EU! Some teachers and academics argue that children might lose touch with Britain’s heritage due to the changes.

“We have a certain Christian narrative which has given meaning to us over the last 2,000 years. To say it is all relative and replaceable is questionable,” said Alan Smithers, the director of the centre for education and employment at Buckingham University.

OUP, the well-known dictionary publisher, selects words for its junior editions with the aid of the children’s corpus. It is a list of words made up of general language, words from children’s books and terms related to the school curriculum. Lexicographers consider word frequency when making additions and deletions. — HNS