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Of dictionaries, buttercups, and time → 

Posted on 8 April 2015

Dezene Huber:

“So what do the recent changes to the Oxford Junior Dictionary mean? I think it’s fair to say that it means that school-aged children – the target audience of this dictionary – aren’t holding buttercups under chins. They aren’t catching amphibians. They aren’t listening to birds. They aren’t playing games among tangles of willows. They are, instead, being influenced toward corporatized indoor loneliness instead of towards a corporate outdoor solitude.”

Like Huber, I’m in a community that is still surrounded by nature, but also like him, I worry. Even as an adult living in the same neighbourhood I grew up in, I notice that woods I used to wander in are now subdivisions, and the elementary school I attended with a forest on the side is now among many that are shut down. I didn’t fully understand the psychological impact nature had on me until I lived in urban China and experienced a profound sense of relief after discovering a small wooded area after months of nothing but concrete. I hope that future generations will also get to grow up with dirt and trees and birds.

Incidentally, Huber is a professor at UNBC whose blog recently came up in a performance review:

“you have made numerous contributions to the community through.. your blog”

Agreed, and I hope it encourages more academics to get involved in non-academic writing informed by their area of study.

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