Thursday, April 23, 2015

Earth Day 2015 – the coming years

My writers' group yesterday discussed an article in The Guardian about the choices made by the Oxford Children's Dictionary editors that set me off, so I wrote this today.

Formosan Clouded Leopard












Earth Day 2015 – the coming years

The Oxford Children’s  Dictionary
edited out words like acorn, otter,
blossom and walnut from the most
recent edition – in the editors’
esteemed wisdom these words were
no longer relevant to today’s children.
Instead words added included celebrity,
broadband, database. Database this
for relevance: remove northern white
rhinoceros from the lexicon – do it soon –
there’s only one breeding male left.
Erase mountain gorilla, predicted
to disappear this year. We are on the edge
of a mass extinction event say the experts.
For the clouded leopard, it’s already
too late. Wipe its name from the slate.
Delete, delete, delete: Hawaiian crow,
last seen in 1999; Pyrenean Ibex, 2000;
spotted green pigeon, 2008. Never say
their names. They deserve better than
to be categorized by the species that
supervised their destruction. Remove
them from the discussion. Other names
rise to  the top of the list, replace what
was lost, next to be forgotten.  Keep
the newly added word, endangered.
We’ll need it in the coming years.