Nature related words should be reinstated in the Junior Oxford English Dictionary.

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Nature related words should be reinstated in the Junior Oxford English Dictionary.

This petition had 213,674 supporters
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Oxford University Press and

Why this petition matters

Started by Terry Jackson

By removing many words to do with nature from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, Children will, rather than caring for the earth and everything on it will be more insular and lead less healthy lives. This is alarming at a time when there are more and more species approaching extinction and more and more children 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 their 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”.

 We understand that the Oxford Primary Dictionary does include a variety of nature words of use to Primary age children and that this is a more encompassing dictionary than the Oxford Junior Dictionary, but are concerned that some very basic words for the very young are being supplanted by words that they are probably quite familiar with anyway. 

We do NOT condone any abusive comments and these will be removed from the discussion if spotted. 


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