Robert Macfarlane, and words that should not be forgotten


“Under pressure, Oxford University Press revealed a list of the entries it no longer felt to be relevant to a modern-day childhood. The deletions included acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin, conker, cowslip, cygnet, dandelion, fern, hazel, heather, heron, ivy, kingfisher, lark, mistletoe, nectar, newt, otter, pasture, and willow. The words introduced to the new edition included attachment, block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point, celebrity, chatroom, committee, cut-and-paste, MP3 player, and voice-mail.”

So wrote Robert MacFarlane in his recent essay Landspeak, published in Orion Magazine.

I can’t wait for my next chance to spy a windhover facing the pirr, searching crottles in a smeuse through the ammil . . .

It'll be a sad day indeed when neither parent nor dictionary can tell the wee ones what this is.

It’ll be a sad day indeed when neither parent nor dictionary can tell the wee ones what this is.

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