Word gaps

Technology is miraculous, but so too is nature – and this aspect of the world’s wonder seems under threat of erasure in children’s narratives, dreams and plots.*
Robert Macfarlane

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.**
Carl Sagan

The numbers were in for the
BBC’s ‘500 Words’ children’s short stories competition:
120,000 entrants,
53 million words.
The Oxford University Press revealed its
children’s word of the year 2015 to be
Of the nature words included by the children,
Oak appeared at the top of the list 3,975 times,
Owl 3,348 times,
Eagle 1,855 times,
But at the bottom of this list:
Buttercup 168 times,
Blackbird 167 times,
Conker 155 times.
We do not notice
the things we do not have a word for.
On a larger stage,
It may just be that we have a word gap between
the life that we have and
the life that we want,
And some of these will be
natural world words.
Yet life is life and it’s never too late.

*Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks;
**Jonah Paquette’s

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