The Junior Oxford Dictionary is Losing Touch with Nature

Forrest Fenn wants to get kids off the couch and out of doors.  What does this news say about our culture when “selfie stick” & “hashtag” replace words like “acorn” and “otter”?                    : (

Sharing this post from Lady Muir:

I was shocked to read the list of nature words removed from the Jr. Oxford Dictionary in the last decade. What follows are excerpts from an essay that explores the intersection between language and life.

via Let Nature Words Live — LadyMuir

“One of These Things Is Not Like the Other”

SESAME STREET*Google

SESAME STREET*Google (Photo credit: COG LOG LAB.)

I’ve got that Sesame Street song in my head.  It’s been laying tracks for a while now–the subconscious working on the conscious.  

“One of these things just doesn’t belong. . .”

TTOTC book jacketResult:  I’ve come to the conclusion that no way were the Fenn’s hungry enough to eat meadowlarks during the Depression.  The father had a college degree, steady employment, and apparently, plenty of fish and potatoes.  Besides, who would go to all that trouble.  I’m going to attribute that to the 15% of the memoir he made up, and add it to the list of questions I’d love to ask him someday.  Like, when I drop off the bracelet.  (I wish.)

So.  Why is that story in the book?  Four meadowlarks and a scissortail.

“Can you tell me which thing is not like the other . . .”

Full houses in poker

Full houses in poker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why are four cards and a joker mentioned?  Why are there four nuggets and a frog, and a coin, sitting on the map?

“. . . Before I finish my song?”

English: Pot of gold under post! Consolation p...

English: Pot of gold under post! Consolation prize after a soaking. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or at least before I head west for The Thrill of the Chase.

Meadowlarks and “Flutterbys”

Western Meadowlark

The most beautiful birdsong is that of the meadowlark. I miss them. I’m a hundred plus miles distant from where I grew up. Even twenty-five miles away from the farm, and twenty years later, the song was not the same. It was truncated, not as sweet somehow.

I can’t imagine they’d make very good eating, but I won’t judge what hunger necessitates. (See the TTOTC book and One of These Things is Not Like the Other.)

Lewis and Clark, other early explorers, traders, and the emigrants that followed, even contemporary travelers, have found themselves in dire straights in cold mountains and hot deserts.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 1st week, 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know a woman who didn’t learn until she was nearing fifty that her father had spent a year in Stateville for stealing a chicken. Four kids to feed. Had lost a farm and home due to fire before the Depression hit. Even so.

She remembers at four or five overhearing adults discussing an eviction. One of them saying, “Well, I can’t kick them out in the cold.”

Purple Prairie Coneflower

Purple Prairie Coneflower

Summer always returns. Here we have Indigo buntings, hummingbirds, cardinals and vultures. Prairie flowers and butterflies galore. (At least, until the chemicals and transgenics get them.)

I’ve never known hunger. Not like that. And I hope our children never do. It’s so much nicer when they can enjoy and observe the “flutterbys”.

Butterfly