Christian Today tells of the horror of Lisa Saunders, mother-of-three from Northern Island, over the number of words associated with Christianity that have been omitted from the latest edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary.
Christian-related words like “bishop”, “chapel”, “disciple”, “minister”, “sin” and “devil”, have been replaced by words like “blog”, “biodegradable”, “MP3 player”, “democratic”, and “celebrity”.
Of course, language changes and some old words become obsolete or change their meaning. But large numbers of people in our country do follow the Christian faith and even those who do not cannot afford to forget who they are and where they come from.
I read elsewhere that there has been quite a lot of concern over the number of ‘nature’ words discarded. We have ‘BlackBerry’ (the phone) but not ‘blackberry’ (the fruit), ‘broadband’ but not ‘beaver’, ‘MP3 player’ but not ‘Magpie’.
One commentator has described OUP’s decision to discontinue certain words as a form of ‘verbal engineering’. It is, in effect, telling children what is, and what is not, important.
I wonder if Santa Claus gets a mention?