Reports of the demise of the beaver in Oxford dictionaries are greatly exaggerated, David Stover, president of Oxford University Press Canada, said in a statement Wednesday.
Stover was reacting to press reports that “beaver” had been deep-sixed in the Oxford Junior Dictionary in favour of trendier words like “MP 3″ and “blog.”
“Canadians need not fear,” Stover said. “The Oxford Junior Dictionary is a short school dictionary produced for a very specific segment of the UK market. It sells in only tiny quantities here in Canada. Oxford publishes a wide range of dictionaries specifically for the Canadian market, including the flagship Canadian Oxford Dictionary, and you can be sure ‘beaver’ appears in them. In fact, in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, ‘beaver’ and various related terms (’beaver bundle’, ‘beaver hat’, etc.) take up roughly half of page 124.”
Although Oxford restructured its Canadian dictionary operations earlier this year, Stover emphasized that future editions of Canadian dictionaries will continue to be directed and shaped by editors, publishers, and lexicographers working in Canada.
Oxford does not currently produce an exact equivalent of the Junior Dictionary, but Stover said that if such a project were to go ahead in the future, Canadian school curriculum standards for vocabulary would be followed. “I can’t imagine the national animal wouldn’t make the cut,” Stover said. “In fact, it might even make the cover.”
For more information: David Stover, email@example.com.