“Woah!?! What did you say?” I hear you cry with incredulity. Yes, I was shocked and horrified too, when I read an article in the Autumn edition of the National Trust magazine recently. This article, titled ‘A Word To The Wild’ written by author Robert Macfarlane, detailed the loss of many much-loved and valuable natural words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary.
Back in 2007, Oxford University Press chose to remove the following words from a brand new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary :-acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, conker, cowslip, crocus, cygnet, dandelion, fern, gorse, hazel, heather, heron, horse chestnut, ivy, kingfisher,lark, minnow, newt, otter, pasture, poppy, starling, sycamore, wren and willow. I must confess I was in utter disbelief as I continued to read this revealing article.
These wonderful woodland words had been removed, because astonishingly, they were considered as being irrelevant to children in this day and age….! In their place, in this new edition aimed at seven to nine year olds, are :- attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee, compulsory, cut-and-paste, MP3 player and voice-mail. No, I’m not kidding. 😔
Good grief! Was my initial reaction. In fact, to be completely truthful, my actual words after discovering this information were far stronger than that! However, we can’t be posting naughty, rude words here and I’m sure you get the picture! 😉😃 Once I’d got over my outrage, I then started thinking about how I could help. The aims of my ‘Whimsy Wood’ children’s series for 5-8 year olds are to ignite imaginations and engage children more with nature. With this in mind, I decided to contact the National Trust magazine directly. If you are as shocked as I was, or would like more information regarding this article, then please click on this link :- http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/what-we-do/big-issues/nature-and-outdoors/natural-childhood/
With magazine articles as the subject of this week’s ‘Whimsy Wood’ blog post, I’m delighted to say that I’ve been chosen (along with 5 other writers) to be a contributor for US on-line parenting magazine the ‘MommyEffect’! All sorts of topics are covered in this marvellous magazine, from lifestyle to product reviews, beauty and style to food and drink. So for anything pertaining to family-life and parenting, please pop over and see us on the ‘Mommy Effect’! 😉😊 http://mommyeffect.com
Well, that’s all from me for this week. Wishing you a wonderfully whimsical early weekend (Friday’s nearly here – hurray!) 😃
Sarah Hill, children’s author and creator of The Whimsy Wood Series.