Then he flew to a nearby tree where I could catch his profile.
And after a bit, either in annoyance with us or with not finding prey, he flew off toward the lake.
"Under pressure, Oxford University Press revealed a list of the entries it no longer felt to be relevant to a modern-day childhood. The deletions included acorn, adder, ash, beech, bluebell, buttercup, catkin, conker, cowslip, cygnet, dandelion, fern, hazel, heather, heron, ivy, kingfisher, lark, mistletoe, nectar, newt, otter, pasture, and willow. The words introduced to the new edition included attachment, block-graph, blog, board band, bullet-point, celebrity, chartroom, committee, cut-and-paste, MP3 player, and voice-mail.
"When the head of children's dictionaries at OUP was asked why the decision had been taken to delete those 'nature words,' she explained that the dictionary needed to reflect the consensus experience of modern-day childhood. 'When you look back at older versions of dictionaries, there were lots of examples of flowers for instance,' she said. 'that was because many children lived in semi-rural environments and saw the seasons. Nowadays, the environment has changed.' There is a realism in her response--but also an alarming acceptance of the idea that children might no longer see the seasons, or that the rural environment might be so unproblematically disposable.
"The substitutions made in the dictionary--the outdoor and the natural being displaced by the indoor and the virtual--are a small but significant symptom of the simulated life we increasingly live."