Friday, December 12, 2008

Declaring Year Zero

Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children's dictionary
Even if you imagine that there are specific social and philosophical goals to removing words from a dictionary associated with national historic or Christianity, one would be hard pressed to believe that there is a valid reason that it can be imposed on the general population.
Oxford University Press has removed words like "aisle", "bishop", "chapel", "empire" and "monarch" from its Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like "blog", "broadband" and "celebrity". Dozens of words related to the countryside have also been culled.

The publisher claims the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society.

But academics and head teachers said that the changes to the 10,000 word Junior Dictionary could mean that children lose touch with Britain's heritage.

"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 Professor Alan Smithers, the director of the centre for education and employment at Buckingham University.
Supider still, it doesn’t have to have anything to do with the narrative of Britsh history at all. What is it exactly that these revisionists are trying to say? That there was no history of the UK before the 20th century and that Christianity never existed? That a simple conduit of information (broadband) is in itself comparable to a religious and philosophical framework?

It’s all evidence of a real loss of the narrative long past us now. One that can’t distinguish (inm this case) between objects and concepts. It isn’t even up to the storyboard mechanism of the cave paintings, and quite frankly the only way to dispose of all notions of our philosophical heritage, one would have to insure a standard of stupidity to enable it.
Words taken out:

Carol, cracker, holly, ivy, mistletoe

Dwarf, elf, goblin

Abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar

Coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade

adder, ass, beaver, boar, budgerigar, bullock, cheetah, colt, corgi, cygnet, doe, drake, ferret, gerbil, goldfish, guinea pig, hamster, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, minnow, mussel, newt, otter, ox, oyster, panther, pelican, piglet, plaice, poodle, porcupine, porpoise, raven, spaniel, starling, stoat, stork, terrapin, thrush, weasel, wren.

Acorn, allotment, almond, apricot, ash, bacon, beech, beetroot, blackberry, blacksmith, bloom, bluebell, bramble, bran, bray, bridle, brook, buttercup, canary, canter, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, county, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, diesel, fern, fungus, gooseberry, gorse, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, liquorice, manger, marzipan, melon, minnow, mint, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, pasture, poppy, porridge, poultry, primrose, prune, radish, rhubarb, sheaf, spinach, sycamore, tulip, turnip, vine, violet, walnut, willow
Even with the pummeling of eco-cation the kidlets are getting as a kind of ‘original sin’ burden they aren’t permitted to get past, plant names for things that are ubiquitous to the point of being invasive in Britain (such as mint) are being removed.

This isn’t a case of someone trying to build a brave new world or a ‘Logan’s Run’ society. It’s a expression of the sad lack of perspective of a generation incapable of placing itself anywhere in history without looking for the gaps it wish it didn’t have to face. In the US, I would think that they would want to leave the work ‘cracker’ in, just. Y’know, for the sake of indoctrination and all...

Elsewhere: hope is dangled in front of western women otherwise unable to form durable human relationships well into adulthood.

Have a nice day.

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