Dictionary publisher eliminates words no longer in use because "Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society"
-- From "Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children's dictionary" by Julie Henry, Education Correspondent, London Telegraph 12/8/08
Oxford University Press has removed words like . . . Abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar
"We have a certain Christian narrative which has given meaning to us over the last 2,000 years. To say it is all relative and replaceable is questionable," said Professor Alan Smithers, the director of the centre for education and employment at Buckingham University. "The word selections are a very interesting reflection of the way childhood is going, moving away from our spiritual background and the natural world and towards the world that information technology creates for us."
Lisa Saunders, a worried mother who has painstakingly compared entries from the junior dictionaries, aimed at children aged seven or over, dating from 1978, 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007, said she was "horrified" by the vast number of words that have been removed, most since 2003.
"The Christian faith still has a strong following," she said. "To eradicate so many words associated with the Christianity will have a big effect on the numerous primary schools who use it."
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