The Oxford Junior Dictionary is a 10,000 word book for kids. In each new addition the words change slightly. It makes sense. Space is limited. Languages change with time. In 2007, 50 nature words (e.g. acorn) were removed. In 2017, a petition was started to save the small but mighty acorn. In 2019, "The Lost Words" was published to highlight the left behind nature words.
Yesterday my family and I read through a list of abandoned words. We knew most of them. As my middle son put it, "I feel a lot smarter now than I did 10 minutes ago." Then my kids asked a question. Were these words left out of the dictionary because they were familiar? Were they removed to make way for more obscure words that children might indeed need to look up?" We went digging. We found our way to a Telegraph article from 2008. It explained the elimination of nature, religious and history words. The dictionary makers analyze popular children's literature and curriculum to find words most often used. Words like otter, blackberry, bluebell, disciple are no longer mainstream. As the head of the children's dictionary put it, "When you look back at older versions of dictionaries, there were lots of examples of flowers for instance. That was because many children lived in semi-rural environments and saw the seasons. Nowadays, the environment has changed. We are also much more multicultural. People don't go to Church as often as before." Excuse me while I pause for a moment of silence in memory of childhood.
Children no longer go to church? Children no longer need to know about flowers? Children no longer "SEE" the seasons? Dandelion, acorn, carols, sin, ravens, newts and psalms are no longer relevant to childhood? We no longer write, talk and teach about these things to our kids? I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, dear friends.