Willow’s Disappearance: Is Nature Outdated?

| 9/10/2010 8:42:06 AM

CindyMurphyBlog.jpgCan anyone tell me what “badot” means? Or the definition of “hoddypeak”? You’d be hard-pressed to find them in any dictionary except those containing curious, outdated or obsolete words.

How about “willow”? There’s at least one well-used dictionary that considered the word outdated, and eliminated it from its pages.

Shannon and the willow 

Keith took Shannon fishing this weekend; she’s become quite the fisherman this summer. When I got home from work Saturday, she excitedly told me all about their morning. “We caught 30 fish, Mom, and I caught way more than Dad.” (He was too busy baiting her hooks to actually do much of his own fishing.) “You should have seen the bass I caught! It was thiiis big,”she said, stretching her arms apart as far as they would go. Yes, she certainly has become quite the fisherman, learning already how to exaggerate the catch. “It was the best day ever!”

And what fishing trip would be complete without trying to catch minnows with your bare hands as they dart in and out between your feet? Shannon is my nature-lover; my outdoorsy girl who would rather play in the dirt than play on the computer. When she visits the nursery were I work, she always heads to her favorite spot – under the huge canopy of the willow. She swings on the rope hanging from this grand tree, out over the pond which has been home to a pair of green herons for the past three years. At our home, she picks blackberries from the vine, little bouquets of the violets and dandelions that make up much of our lawn, and hunts the elusive four-leaved clover for good luck. She watches butterflies sip the nectar from the blooms of flowers, and the little wren hop through the garden. In fall, her wishes come true when she gets the bigger half of two acorns connected together by the stem that we pull apart like a wishbone.      

All of the words in bold in the above paragraph, and throughout this post, along with several other words pertaining to nature, totaling more than 50, have been eliminated from the Oxford Junior Dictionary to make room for tech words such as MP3 player, blog, broadband, voicemail, and chatroom.

S.M.R. Saia
9/23/2010 6:22:07 AM

Wow, I found this news both disturbing and apalling. I hadn't heard this. Thanks so much for telling us about it, Cindy. Great post. Shannon

Cindy Murphy
9/13/2010 10:32:14 PM

LMHO. No, Michelle, not always. But then again, we women don't always remember either. There was that the poor clematis he kept pulling, thinking it was a weed. He pulled it on three separate occasions. The last time, he brought it into the house, held it up by the roots, and said, "Uhm...Dear? Was this that thing I wasn't supposed to pull?" We then decided it was best if he stay out of the flower gardens and stuck with vegetables. Unfortunately, I forgot the clematis incident when I asked him to cut down the sapling. What the heck was I thinking? Oz Girl, very cool you've still got that dictionary you won in a spelling bee. Kinda a weird thing, but I collect old dictionaries. The oldest one I have is from the 1880's. It's interesting to me how words (such as hoddypeak) fall out of use after a time. Interesting...but in the case of the words in the Oxford Jr. Dictionary, saddening as well.

Michelle House
9/12/2010 11:28:15 PM

LOL, he seem to be genuinely (????) surprised that you were upset. Men, they don't listen much, do they? LOL.

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