Keep Regional Language Alive! Importance of Local Vocabulary; 'Landmarks' by Robert Macfarlane; Passing on the Heritage

Where are the 'natural' words?!

Oxford Junior Dictionary published by OUP (Oxford University Press)
Oxford Junior Dictionary published by OUP (Oxford University Press)

What is going on?

Since when can someone tell us when certain words are not relevant to us, let alone tell us they’re not relevant to our children?

This is exactly what happened in 2007 when those compiling the Oxford Junior Dictionary (aimed at 7-9 year olds) removed some words from the new edition and substituted more ‘modern’, or what they considered more ‘relevant’ words.

The troubling part of this for me is that I’ve only just found out about it! I’m a member of the National Trust, a charity dedicated to preserving buildings, gardens and other sites they deem important to our history and heritage. I happened to be reading an article, in the Autumn 2015 edition of their magazine, by Robert Macfarlane who wrote a book called ‘Landmarks’.

I’ll let him explain why he wrote that book:

‘It seemed to me….. we lack a Terra Britannica, as it were: a gathering of terms for the land and its specificities - terms used by fishermen, farmers, sailors, scientists, crofters, mountaineers, soldiers, shepherds, walkers and unrecorded ordinary others for whom specialised ways of indicating aspects of place have been vital to everyday practice and perception. It seemed, too, that it might be worthwhile assembling some of this fine-grained and fabulously diverse vocabulary, and releasing its poetry back into imaginative circulation.’

I am responsible for highlighting the two sections in bold; they are phrases that say a lot to me. The ‘unrecorded ordinary others’ are the common folk who use general but special terminology as a way of life and those terms do have ‘poetry’ and they need to go back into circulation and be used imaginatively; in other words by those who have the imagination to bring these words back to life, not to preserve them but to regenerate their active rôle, to give them impact.


The Rôle of Writers

This is where our responsibility as writers steps in. I feel that responsibility in my core, in my heart, in my soul. How can we let rich, traditional, valuable words disappear into limbo? English is supposed to be the most versatile language in the world. We have words for the smallest nuances of emotions, colours, smells, sights and sounds. How can we let those slip away without some effort to haul them back to the here and now?


Are these Irrelevant?

Pasture, Adder, Beech: Irrelevant words?
Pasture, Adder, Beech: Irrelevant words? | Source
Cygnets at Bishop's Palace, Wells, Somerset
Cygnets at Bishop's Palace, Wells, Somerset | Source
Dandelion Taraxacum Officinale Seed
Dandelion Taraxacum Officinale Seed | Source
Heron, on the roof of our house; a bird's eye view for fish in the canal!
Heron, on the roof of our house; a bird's eye view for fish in the canal! | Source

Omissions & Additions

Mr Macfarlane’s article was entitled ‘A word to the wild’. The words removed from the 2007 edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary included:

  • acorn, adder, ash,
  • beech, bluebell, buttercup,
  • conker, cowslip, crocus, cygnet,
  • dandelion,
  • fern,
  • gorse,
  • hazel, heather, heron, horse chestnut,
  • ivy,
  • kingfisher,
  • lark,
  • minnow,
  • newt,
  • otter,
  • pasture, poppy,
  • starling, sycamore,
  • wren, willow

Don’t forget that these are words deemed not to be relevant to children these days! I was shocked and saddened. So many of these surround us in our rich, verdant countryside. They are not obscure birds, flowers, creatures, trees or fish. They are a part of our lives! How do you feel about their omission?

Can you guess which words take their place?

  • attachment,
  • block-graph, blog, broadband, bullet-point,
  • celebrity, chatroom, committee, compulsory, cut-and-paste,
  • MP3 player,
  • voice-mail

and many more.

I’m not saying these modern words are not important. I am saying they are not more important than the words omitted. Why can’t we have both, or a separate dictionary for modern, technical terms?


A new Book of 'Place-words'

Because of this, Mr Macfarlane is now in the process of compiling a book of what he calls ‘place-words’. He has collected terms ‘for particular features of terrain, elements, weather and creaturely life’, stressing the relationship ‘between language and landscape’.

Here are some examples, many of which are onomatopoeic, to evoke scenes in your imagination:

  • smeuse - a Sussex word for ‘the gap in the base of a hedgerow made by the regular passage of a small animal’ (my favourite because Sussex is my birth place!)
  • crizzle - a verb from Northamptonshire - ‘the freezing of open water’
  • zawn - used in Cornwall - ‘a wave-smashed chasm in a sea-cliff’
  • ammil - Devon - ‘the gleaming film of ice that cases twigs and grass-blades when a freeze follows a thaw’
  • rionnach maoim - a Hebridean Gaelic phrase - ‘the shadows cast on the moorland by clouds moving across the sky on a bright and windy day’ (good job it’s shorter!)
  • aftermath - ‘the first fresh growth of grass after a meadow has been cut’
  • zwer - Exmoor - ‘the sound made by a covey of partridges taking flight’

There are many, many more but ‘Robert’s top discoveries’ are:

  • Roak (East Yorkshire): a sea mist that rolls into shore
  • Snow-Scarfs (Border Scots): the long thin patches of snow that still lie in stream-cuts and lee hollows after a thaw (another personal favourite)
  • Rhiw (Welsh): a footpath on the steeply rising slope of a hill (roll the ‘r’ and breath out to express the ‘h’ - like ‘r/h oo’)
  • Dimmity, dimpsey (Devon): twilight
  • Wicker (Cheshire): a goldfinch
  • Burra (Oxfordshire): a sheltered spot, tucked away out of the wind, where certain flowers are able to grow
  • Kesh (Northern Ireland): a makeshift ramp or bridge over a stream or marsh
  • Hazeling (Hertfordshire): of a spring morning, warm and damp and good for sowing seed


Poppies & Willows

Ceramic poppies at the Tower of London (Art Installation)
Ceramic poppies at the Tower of London (Art Installation) | Source
An old Willow in need of pollarding (pruning)
An old Willow in need of pollarding (pruning) | Source

Rich, Relevant Words

What wonderful sounds we get from rolling these words round our tongue, what awesome images enter our mind’s eye! Go back through the list and try saying a few out loud! Don’t they feel good? As a lover of words, I am passionate about this sort of thing. Why remove everyday words which, to my mind, are relevant now more than ever? Consider these:

  • An acorn, from which might oaks grow;
  • bluebells, carpets of which provide a paintbrush splurge of subtlety on the forest floor, a flash of pure soft blue as you glimpse through the trees;
  • heron, a patient statue fishing by the river;
  • poppy, that vibrant growth through the mud on Flanders’ fields;
  • willow, gently bending to the water, the wood from which canes, garden trugs and cricket bats are made (a trug is a basket to hold garden tools, a few weeds, etc.)

If children are not as aware as they used to be of these stunning flora and fauna, then isn’t it imperative to make sure they get to know the wonders of the world around them rather than wipe them from the page? Children are our future. They would be sadly lacking if such things were not a part of their lives.


Twitten

Looking out from the start of a 'twitten', a small lane between wall and fence, which joins the area you can see to the park, in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England
Looking out from the start of a 'twitten', a small lane between wall and fence, which joins the area you can see to the park, in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England | Source

Do you have local vocabulary for your surroundings?

The National Trust article invited us to submit our own words regarding our countryside. Sussex is my home county, so I know a few from there:

  • ‘twitten’: a worn track or passage providing a short cut from one area to another, be it road to road or field to field or just from one defined space to another. They are by nature narrow, often between walls or high trees, foot-worn and free from man-made surfaces. They can be grassed or just worn soil.
  • ‘a withy’ - flexible branch of a willow tree (also in Somerset, where I now live)
  • ‘a rife’ - small river flowing across the coastal plain

I would like to use these words in my writing but few people would understand them. It’s my aim to make them more widely understood and therefore more accepted. I must stress that they are not archaic, old-fashioned words but terms currently in use.

There are such terms in every language, more or less. Do you have local nouns, adjectives, verbs that people use with reference to the countryside or to particular jobs or pastimes? Please share them here. I’d love to hear them. I suspect some of the words above might have been taken to America many moons ago and perhaps survived in certain areas; let me know!

Let’s keep our language alive and not submit to the total take-over of modern jargon to the detriment of our beautiful, rich - and still useful - vocabulary!


Copyright annart/AFC 2015 (text & own photos)


A Must-Read!

'Landmarks' by Robert Macfarlane
'Landmarks' by Robert Macfarlane

‘Landmarks’ by Robert Macfarlane: More information

  • Published by Hamish Hamilton, an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd. (Hamish Hamilton, 2015)
  • ISBN 978-0-241-14653-8

A review on the cover states, ’He has a poet’s eye and a prose style that would make many a novelist burn with envy’ (John Banville).

I couldn’t agree more; his style is as wonderful as his subject matter. If you can get hold of this book, I urge you to read it. It’s about ‘the power of language… to shape our sense of space’. You will be inspired by a master in his field, an outstanding writer and a man passionate about the richness of his language. The new book is due to be published in May 2016.


National Trust

Click thumbnail to view full-size
National Trust Emblem of a sprig of oak leaves with acorn
National Trust Emblem of a sprig of oak leaves with acorn
National Trust Emblem of a sprig of oak leaves with acorn | Source

Sources

The National Trust can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk

They provide free entry to many sites, cheaper entrance to others and all sorts of extras such as regular magazines, local groups, emails announcing local events, children’s activities, and car stickers. Annual membership cards must be produced on entry to any of their sites. It only takes a few visits to cover the membership fee, which can be individual, for a couple or for a family.

There are hundreds of sites around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The National Trust for Scotland has reciprocal membership deals as does the USA, where the organisation is known as the ‘Royal Oak Foundation’.

It's an ideal way to get the family together, learning about heritage, nature and the outdoors.


Regional Language

Do you think it's important to preserve regionally specific words?

  • Yes; language naturally evolves but shouldn't be discarded.
  • Yes, at all costs.
  • No; they're outdated & therefore irrelevant.
  • No; local words are not important.
See results without voting

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

More by this Author


Comments 51 comments

annart profile image

annart 10 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Kim, for your comment your compliment and your interesting input. I was looking at that hub of yours yesterday but didn't have time to read it properly, so will head on over there now.

I appreciate your support a great deal. Have a great day and week!

Ann


ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 10 months ago from North Carolina

Ann,

This hub is of great importance, and I am like you in that I find the discarding of words to be utter nonsensical. I love the beautiful ways in which you use some of the words selected for dismissal.

I live in a region where colloquialisms can still be heard, but as the elders pass away and others move in, I believe that this tapestry has already started to unravel.

If you get the chance, please check out a story I wrote called " 'Round These Parts." It was in part an attempt at trying to capture local dialect.

Many Blessings and Thank You,

Kim

Thank You,

Kim


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Flourish: That's a good idea, to have an unofficial guide to the spoken word. I'm wondering if one exists, so I'm off to find out!

Thanks for your contribution today!

Ann


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 13 months ago from USA

Some of the deletions befuddle me. Just why? And as someone who has moved around a fair amount in my own country, I've recognized there is a wide variety of regional language that is unofficial and undocumented. You almost need an unofficial guide to the spoken word or Appendix.


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Patricia! Yes, I agree; short-sighted indeed. Apparently it was to do with the statistics of how often the words are used - as Churchill said, 'there are lies, damn lies, and statistics'!

Good to see you today and thanks so much for the share etc.

Ann


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 13 months ago from sunny Florida

What an eye opener this is, Ann.

Throwing out enchanting words that make reading and writing full of color and interest is so very short-sighted.

Losing the beauty and nuance that such words create is unimaginable.

Thank you so much for making us aware...

Angels are on the way to you this early morning hour ps

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annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Mihnea: Thank you! That would be great. I love playing with new words. Thanks for your comment.

Ann


Mihnea Andreescu profile image

Mihnea Andreescu 13 months ago from Bucharest,Romania

This is amazing.I could use some of these words in my work-Regional language should always be treasured.


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Oh, thanks Trish! I'll look it up to see if I can catch a replay.

Ann


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 13 months ago from The English Midlands

I just listened to an interview on Radio 4 with Robert Macfarlane. Very interesting.


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Hi Eric! That's an interesting thought.

I think others define us by the way we talk, sometimes unjustly, and I think we are defined by our accents because others can perceive our origins. Our characters are defined by the types of words we use, for good or for bad.

We are often judged to be 'educated' if we use 'big' words! I would argue that it can be arrogant, showing off, and using a few well-chosen words which everyone knows portrays a higher intelligence and understanding. Sometimes, though, we have to use words to define specific technicalities or differences in meaning.

Great question, Eric! You've got me thinking....... !

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Devika! Good to see you today.

Ann


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Just being lame here. Is it possible that we are defined by the words we use? I will ponder this.


DDE profile image

DDE 13 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi Ann you are right! Keep the words alive. Interesting and informative.


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Yes indeed, Frank, we should keep them alive. Here, the Welsh and the Celtic languages are fought for, but English dialects seem to be ignored, though still used as I've said here. The powers that be in Oxford (the highbrow academics!) should know better than to erase words from their once highly-respected dictionaries. Methinks the ones now in control have lacked the relevant education to go with the 'heritage' philosophy. Shame.

Thanks for your kind comments.

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 13 months ago from Shelton

This is indeed a timely topic.. I do believe we should keep all languages spoken in an area of a sovereign state alive and nurtured to the young.. what a great idea for a hub.. a good conversational hub too awesome my friend :)


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Well, thank you, Eric! What a sweet thing to say. I'm humbled at such words from a man who's greatly admired and loved on these pages.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

RTalloni: Thanks for your great input. I agree with you about the 'dumbing down' of children. They know so much and are hungry for input. My two 4 year old grandchildren can't get enough information about what's around them and they are now hungry for words as they start to read well.

You are so right about being proud of one's roots, region and nation. Somehow we're made to feel that it's not right, as though we're being insular or prejudiced against all others; what a load of rot!

Love your selection of phrases from around the country. We have 'right as rain'. Accents are also a fascination; same words, so many different takes on them! Maybe that's food for another hub!

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Vellur: Thank you. Neither did I have a clue until recently and this happened in 2007; I dread to think what they'll do with the next edition. There was an outcry at the time, I've found out, so they might have listened and learned but I wonder why I don't have confidence that they did!

Your input is much appreciated.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Bronwen, for your kind comments and your valuable input.

I totally agree with you, especially about the teenage suicides. 'Living on the internet' is so widespread now that many have lost the ability to connect to nature, I feel. Maybe that's a pessimistic view and I know my grandchildren are not in that category but, when you look at so much that goes on, it makes you wonder.

I appreciate you visiting today.

Ann


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Look at you. All these people lovin you. You make my world rock. You are all that lady.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 13 months ago from Dubai

I agree with billybuc, totally utterly silly. How can they just decide to drop words and on what basis do they decide words are irrelevant. I just don't get it. Thank you for sharing this hub, I did not have a clue that this was going on.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 13 months ago from the short journey

Another interesting read worth remembering and pondering. Appreciate the quote that included "releasing its poetry back into imaginative circulation". Thanks for starting discussion on this topic.

The dumbing down of kids continues. I've heard a few people say that little ones aren't capable of learning on higher levels and I always think it is such a disservice to them! Generally, we know that they are capable of learning and retaining far more than we give them credit for and that if we will help them they can understand regional language as well as expanded language, all to their benefit on several levels.

Something at the root of all this makes me remember that there is another new movement to try to make everyone the same, dismissing a sense of home, hometown, and patriotism. It's all very sad because loyalty to one's home/nation benefits everyone and is a wonderful opportunity to teach real respect of each other.

Regional colloquialisms and accents are great fun if everyone is willing to laugh with each other over them. A few include: That couple's right as rain (from the southeast). He was so mad he could've chewed up barbwire and spit out nails (from southwest). They're livin' in high cotton (from deep south). That's a whoopensocker of a cake (from upper midwest). Then on across the country we hear aig for egg, beg for bag, and don for dawn (from the PNW). Just listening to the way locals say their cities, streets, and landmarks is also a way to catch on to pronunciations and often get a smile to boot! ;)


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 13 months ago from Victoria, Australia

What a great article- thank you! That new dictionary just shows how some people are thinking when words connected with our relationship with our environment and the real world are discarded in favour of the make-believe land of computers and technology. Perhaps that's a bit harsh, but if we remain connected to God's created world there may be a bit less mental illness and teenage suicide out there.


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Exactly, Jackie; it's up to us to keep an eye out for any more such 'deletions'. Thanks for your support.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Alan. I like 'rig-welter'; great words!

Do let me know, please, if you come across any more still in use.

Ann


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 13 months ago from The Beautiful South

How ridiculous! This world is getting crazier every day! To just do away with words! We have a bunch of nuts we let get by with too much.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 13 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Hello again Ann, I was about to add something else after 'Ower-kessen' and 'allicker' but the cursor strayed and deleted a chunk. Ran out of time before I could re-do it. What I was about to add was those two hadn't got past the 'wire'.

There's a brew from the Black Sheep Brewery at Masham (near Ripon) called 'Rig-welter', means it'll put you on your back ('rig-welted' means on its back and unable to stand, usually of sheep. Another one, as kids we used to call liquorice 'Spanish', because it came from Spain. On edibles again, 'rioo-bub' is rhubarb (as in 'rioo-bub triangle') and 'traycle' is treacle.

See 'YORKSHIRE'S YAMMER' by Peter Wright, publ. Dalesman, ISBN 185568077-7.


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, manatita. I am indeed passionate about language. It's so important for history, heritage, communication and entertainment.

Glad you liked this.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

brutish spoon: Good for you for trying to keep it all alive. My sister is still in Yorkshire, near Scunthorpe. She comes up with a few words sometimes!

Thanks for all that.

Ann


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 13 months ago from london

Wow! And this time because your language is so passionate, all the way through! Your words remind me of a book called Right Resolutions! Anyway, yes, useful to have a look at this and chat or discuss by a fireside. Intriguing and interesting indeed! Great man! Good on him!


brutishspoon profile image

brutishspoon 13 months ago from Darlington, England

It is in my family as I have relatives who still live within the Durham coalfields area. Mining may be dying out and the language of the pits not getting used as much but there are some of us who love the area and its heritage enough to try and keep it alive. I love history especially of my local area and both sides of my family have worked within two of the Norths Heritage industries the Durham Pits and of course the Railway. Two things you cannot escape around here is the history of both of those industries and their connection to each other.


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

brutishspoon: Thank you so much for that. My grandfather was a Tynesider and my grandmother from Durham. The accent is my favourite. Thanks for adding those words; I knew 'gan' but not 'gallower' - is the latter still widely used?

Great input and so fascinating with everyone's contributions.

How's the impending event going? All well I hope!

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

A degree in linguistic philosophy! Wow! I bow to your greater knowledge and expertise. You must share more about that, pleeeease.... (I'll get an editbot for that!). Your modesty does you credit but we need to know more! So many hubs in that story of yours!

Thank you, Eric, for your kind comments, your story and your enthusiasm.

I so enjoy your writing and always look forward to your comments.

Hoping your week brings much love and joy,

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Mary. It is incomprehensible to me why they did that, especially a university press steeped in tradition such as Oxford.

Yes, we wordsmiths must keep language alive and add to our vocabulary; I for one intend to pass on many words to my grandchildren. The two 4 year old are well on their way to competent reading and they love it. They already play with words so I'm encouraged that it will continue.

Thanks for your thoughts, Mary.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Alan: Thank you so much for all that wonderful information. I remember my paternal grandparents using many of those and I know 'larkin' about' exists as a general term throughout the country now.

How many of those in your first paragraph are still used widely?

I first heard my granddad using 'champion' and loved the word (the accent has to be Tyneside too!). I didn't know 'allicker' (vinegar) nor 'ower-kessen' (overcast, in weather).

Thanks so much for your valuable input. Love it! I do so love learning new words especially those which are so descriptive and so apt to their environments. Much appreciated, Alan.

Ann


brutishspoon profile image

brutishspoon 13 months ago from Darlington, England

I come from and still live in North East England. I was born and brought up in Darlington on the Durham, Yorkshire, Tees Valley border. It is a place where different dialects meet and mingle and I love to here the different terms people use for the same thing.

My Dad was from a Durham Pit Village and he taught me how to use some Pitmatic which used to get me into trouble at School. I can remember my Dad going up to my teacher and telling her off for trying to stop me talking like I did.

Gallower - Horse

Gan - Go


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Wowsa Bowsa you did not disappoint at all. Which MaCFarlane book should I get first? Let me relate a fun story. I was a very mature 14 year old, mustache and all. I was raised in a hamlet of 12,000 souls on a mountainside at 7,100 ft. National Geographic and chess and a foot stompin Wurlitzer were the norm and TV was Bonanza and Gunsmoke and Combat. My best buddies were Cajun Black transplants, sons of railroad Chinamen, and what we now call Native Americans and real Mexicans up for seasons to work the ranches. Our language was a fully mixed bag. At 14 I stepped off the train in Victoria Station and the smallest black man I ever did see came up to me and rattled and prattled off in "Cockney". I was dumb struck. Black men spoke "Southern" American. And so it was mandated that I get a degree in linguistic philosophy and I have been dumb struck ever since.

You bring me great joy in words, muchas gracias mi amor.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 13 months ago from New York

I too think no words are irrelevant. Who decides which words to stop using? Will grouse be next, or do do bird? How can children form a knowledge of all around them and what once was if we remove words from their vocabulary?

Like Bill, we don't have any language peculiar to our region. Like you, I love words. We are all wordsmiths and use our words to try to get at the heart of what we think.

Very interesting piece Ann.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 13 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Hello Ann, as you know from your time at Whitby Broad Yorkshire has words that don't appear elsewhere in England, not even in other parts of Yorkshire - each of the three Ridings, North, East and West, shared some words but others were unique to that area depending on the density of Aengle to Danish and Celtic settlement. Overall a 'pyenot' was a magpie, 'spuggy' a sparrow, 'lops' fleas. Pronunciation of shared words varied as well, such as spade: NR 'spyad', ER 'speead', WR 'speead'. women is 'wimmin' across the board. 'Laikin (pron. 'larkin') aboot' translates as playing or messing about. The Celtic element came across in counting sheep, 'yan', 'twa', 'tethera' varied between the Ridings for one, two, three etc. 'Cracker-buck' was fifty. The shepherd would keep a tally on stones in his pockets, up to ten then start again.

'Flummoxed' (confused) has been shared beyond county boundaries and still used everywhere. 'Daft' (silly) is another word that crept out under the radar, as is 'champion' (great). Words like 'allicker' (vinegar) and 'ower-kessen' (overcast, in weather).


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Eric. What a lovely comment! I do indeed love all words. I'll look forward to your return.

Ann


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you Alicia! Indeed, and those were only a few of them! I can't understand it either. Anyway, I shall do my best to keep them alive. Thanks for your kind words.

Ann


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Ann,

I comment without reading. Your title has my mind flying into amazing thoughts. We are tri-lingual here and regionality is an extra bonus. I just love your love of our words, all our words. "I'll be back".


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Hi Trish! Great to see you! Interesting that your house was built on withy beds. I think that word survives in several counties.

Thanks for reading and for your kind comments.

Ann


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 13 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is a wonderful hub, Ann. I completely agree with your point of view. It's amazing and very puzzling that the Oxford Junior Dictionary chose to drop the words that you list. It would be a great shame if we lost traditional words from our vocabulary!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 13 months ago from The English Midlands

I cannot believe that list of the dictionary's discarded words! How weird! It just feels wrong. Great article. I, too, love words. Our house was built on withy beds :)


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 13 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Thanks for the clarification and correction, Ann.


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

Venkatachari M: It's not just old words or grandparents' words; many are regarded as 'modern', though aren't known from one region to another.

Thanks for reading and for your input.

Ann


Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 13 months ago from Hyderabad, India

A timely article. I fully agree with you that regional and traditional / ancient vocabulary should be preserved and our children should be able to get awareness of such words and phrases that were prevalent in the older times of our grand parents. Your message is very much appreciable.

Sharing it on G+


annart profile image

annart 13 months ago from SW England Author

It's not so much 'a language' or an accent, it's just the odd word that has no other equivalent unless it's a whole string of description; that's what makes them so valuable. So many words survive here, different ones for almost the exact same meaning in different regions. That's what I find so fascinating.

I bet if you asked around, especially among the artisans or farmers, they'd tell you about a few specific words they still use which are relevant to them. Do tell if you find any!

The book is so well-written and I'm sure you'd love it for the prose alone; hope you read it if you get the chance.

Thank you, bill, for your two visits to my door today.

Ann :)


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billybuc 13 months ago from Olympia, WA

I'm not sure how some of those words could be considered irrelevant. It makes no sense to me....

When I was reading this I was thinking of our region. I'm not sure I can say we have a regional language here in the Northwest U.S., unlike much of the U.S.....and we don't really have accents here. We are the bland children of the U.S.

Anyway, I love that you wrote this and I agree with you completely. No words are irrelevant. How totally and utterly silly!

bill

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