Goodbye Chestnut, Hello Chatrooms


The Oxford Junior Dictionary takes the forefront this week in the debate over the pedagogy of reference books, as 28 authors join a public campaign to reverse changes that have ousted entries from the natural world in favor of those from the digital. Oxford defends the changes as reflections of a young population increasingly unfamiliar with the countryside, but poet Andrew Motion argues that’s all the more reason to fight to preserve nature vocabulary: “Dictionaries exist to extend our knowledge, as much (or more) as they do to confirm what we already know or half-know.”

Dinah Fay is a poet, copywriter, and social media maven living in Brooklyn. She is the co-host of the Brick City Speaks reading series in Newark, where she is pursuing an MFA in writing from Rutgers University. More from this author →