Help Reinstate The Lost Words

Help Reinstate The Lost Words - blog post image

By removing many nature words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, children will, rather than caring for the earth and everything on it, be more insular and lead less healthy lives. This is alarming at a time when species are approaching extinction and more and more children are suffering from mental illness and obesity.

Some of the replacement words are also questionable choices. For example blog must surely easier to spell and discover the meaning of than say hedgehog or cygnet.

A group of authors have written to OUP and point out; “When, in 2007, the OJD made the changes, this connection was understood, but less well publicised than now. The research evidence showing the links between natural play and wellbeing; and between disconnection from nature and social ills, is mounting.”

They also said, “there is a shocking, proven connection between the decline in natural play and the decline in children’s wellbeing,” Research reveals that a generation ago, 40% of children regularly played in natural areas, compared to 10% today, with a further 40% never playing outdoors. “Obesity, anti-social behaviour, friendlessness and fear are the known consequences,” they say.

This petition echos the author's request to the publishers that “a deliberate and publicised decision to restore some of the most important nature words would be a tremendous cultural signal and message of support for natural childhood,” and ask it to “take that opportunity, and if necessary, bring forward the next edition of the OJD in order to do so.

The Oxford Primary Dictionary does include a variety of nature words of use to primary age children and it is a more encompassing dictionary than the Oxford Junior Dictionary, but it is never-the-less concerning that some very basic words for the very young are being supplanted by words with which they are probably already perfectly familiar. You can sign the petition to reinstate The Lost Words here.



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