Oxford University Press removes words associated with Christianity from children’s dictionary

What is going on in England?

Cultural suicide?

The (London) Sunday Telegraph reports today that words associated with Christianity, the monarchy and British history have been dropped from a leading dictionary for children.

One of the country’s top publishers, Oxford University Press, has removed words like “abbey” (as in Westminster), “aisle,” “bishop,” “chapel,” “empire” and “monarch” from its 10,000 word Oxford Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like “blog,” “broadband,” “voicemail,” “MP3 player” and “celebrity”.

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

Among the words taken out:

* Abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar
* Carol, cracker, holly, ivy, mistletoe
* Coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade

Among the words put in:

* Blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, attachment, database, export, chatroom
* Celebrity, negotiate, interdependent, citizenship, committee, endangered, EU, Euro, and (best of all for children) biodegradable

Tom Gross — Tom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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