Pop went the Weasel
I’m sure that most people reading this posting will also have read the numerous news items and other blog postings regarding the Oxford University Press’ decision to remove certain words from its Children’s Dictionary.
I would like to add my voice to the chorus of dissenters. It is important that our younger generation, when they reach the age of discernment, engage properly in political debate. How on earth can they do this without words like “weasel” and “adder”? How can we instill pride of country into them without “empire”? Losing the religious terms (“holly”, “ivy”, “mistletoe”) will turn out a generation without the basic words to discuss Druidism when the Druids come knocking on the door on a Sunday morning.
I must say that I’m not a ferret lover (probably the world’s most evil animal) and losing that word doesn’t worry me much. Nor the words to do with sex and sexuality that I’m sure the previous generation of schoolchildren giggled over: “oyster”, “vicar”, “thrush”, “gooseberry”, “oats” and “pansy”.
But what about the words that are being added? I suppose the most promising is “square number” and the least “creep”. That “creep” has a Uriah Heep flavour to it and I hope that the dictionary already contains “obsequious” so that it can be cross-referenced.
All in all (which it never is), the children seem to have lost more than they have gained. A good lesson for them in these times of plunging stock markets.