At the end of 2008, the Oxford Children’s Dictionary removed “nature words” to make space for “technology words” thereby giving new meaning to the term “endangered species”. Words such as beaver, goldfish, herring, lobster were threatened by removal potentially leading to word extention, possibly to be followed by species extinction. “@ risk” seeks to bring to life the vanishing animal and plant words by using drawings insted of words. Further references to language include the use of traditional library forms: library card and book pocket.
< sketchbook pages for “@ risk”, Louise Phillips, 2009
Note: faced with public outcry, Oxford allowed “beaver” to remain in its Canadian dictionaries
To keep the size of a children's dictionary from growing, out-of-date words would be taken out to make space for new words. New tech words were to replace nature words. I have been told that if we can't name something, it won't be talked about or remembered and could be entirely forgotten. I drew the plants and animals to bring them back, to give them a place, and so that they could be seen and valued. It felt important. I was a protector. I use technology. I value the natural world. We are part of nature, too. – Louise Phillips
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