Monday, December 08, 2008

How NOT to build a multicultural society ...

According to this story in Britian's Daily Trelegraph (December 8, 2008),
Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children's dictionary

Words associated with Christianity, the monarchy and British history have been dropped from a leading dictionary for children.

Oxford University Press has removed words like "aisle", "bishop", "chapel", "empire" and "monarch" from its Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like "blog", "broadband" and "celebrity". Dozens of words related to the countryside have also been culled.

The publisher claims the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society.

But academics and head teachers said that the changes to the 10,000 word Junior Dictionary could mean that children lose touch with Britain's heritage.

Of course it could. And some people will find that very convenient, because kids can be told any nonsense about government in Britain or Christianity, and they'll believe it. That latter situation is already a problem, thanks to some energetic nineteenth century propagandists. (And go here for more.)

By the way, people don't usually need definitions of the words that are in common use.

For example, here in Toronto, who needs a definition right now of "mitt," "boot," "snow shovel,"or "sidewalk salt"? A picture, sure, but a definition, no. It's not like people have any trouble figuring out what all that stuff is for.

But "bishop" or "monarch", now those terms - like "mullah" or "caliph" - do require some explanation.

Pictured above is a typical scene in downtown Toronto today. It features a bag of sidewalk salt, a pair of boots, a pair of mitts, and a boot cat. The boot cat keeps the boots from falling over. But if you saw it up close, you would not need me to explain that, would you?

Hat tip: Kathy Shaidle at Five Feet of Fury.