“A” for attachment, “B” for blog, and “C” for chatroom - states the revised Oxford Junior Dictionary, sparking an outcry from a group of authors who believe that the dictionary should have used “A” for acorn, “B” for buttercup, and “C” for conker. Andrew Motion and Margaret Atwood are among the profoundly alarmed group of authors who are outraged at the replacement of ‘natural’ words in the dictionary. A slew of words which have natural connotations and links have been replaced with those associated with the rapidly increasing solitary and interior childhoods in today’s world.
The group of 28 authors including Motion, Atwood, Robert Macfarlane, and Michael Morpurgo, has warned that this decision to eliminate some 50 words associated with nature and the countryside from the children’s dictionary is not only shocking but also poorly considered. They have decided to approach the publisher of Oxford University Press and make a request to take back the decision and if possible, publish a new edition of the 10,000-entry dictionary for children.
Initially in 2007, the Oxford Junior Dictionary was to replace almond, blackberry, and crocus with analogue, block graph, and celebrity. At the same time, there were protests from a different set of people regarding the loss of religious words such as sin, saint, and bishop. The 2012 edition of the dictionary retained those changes and the most recent edition contains analogue, broadband, and cut and paste instead of words such as cauliflower, catkin, clover, and chestnut. This dictionary is targeted for seven-year-olds.