Nature is becoming "less important" because words like "web" and "stream" have been hijacked by the technology world, researchers claim.
The grip of the computer on nature's vocabulary is such that the use of the word & # 39; tweet & # 39; now only in 1 percent of the cases refers to birdsong – and the rest to Twitter.
A study by the University of Leeds found in a sample of conversations from the 1990s that any use of the word "flow" was related to a small river.
This compares with only 36 percent of water usage in sample conversations over the past ten years – the rest refers to the action of "streaming" or downloading videos & audio online.
The use of the word "tweet" only refers to birdsong in 1 percent of the cases – and the rest to Twitter, researchers have discovered (file photo)
And about 40 percent of children now associate the word "web" with the internet instead of spiders
Dr. Robbie Love, a fellow in linguistics, said: "Language represents what is important for a culture or society.
& # 39; Nature's language is being replaced … suggests nature may become less important. & # 39;
According to Dr. Love there are also a lot of other nature words dropped in the relative frequency among young people between the 1990s and 2010.
These include lawn, twig, blackbird, picnic, fishing, paddling, sand, welly, desert, paw, snow, grass, jungle, sky, path, bridge, bush, land, hill, fish, pond, mountain, bottom, branch, cane, park, ground, wheel, tree, stream, rock, bird, road, garden and shell.
About 40 percent of children now associate the word "web" with the internet, also known as "world wide web," rather than spiders, although it happens to some children at the age of six.
Parents and grandparents also recognized this trend, with 50 percent believing that their children / grandchildren would see web as a technology word.
In an effort to get children to play outside more, the National Trust promotes a list of 50 free and simple ideas to help children make contact with nature.
Other nature words such as picnic, fishing, paddling, sand, road, garden and shell have also decreased in frequency between young people between the 1990s and 2010 (photo from file)
Ideas are "cloud watching" and watching a sunset or sunrise. 50 free and simple ideas to help children get in touch with nature aimed at children around 11.
Andy Beer, regional director of the Midlands, said: "As a nation, we are losing our connection with nature. This is really worrying for us as a charity organization.
"One of the main reasons we were formed was to protect and care for green spaces and wildlife for the benefit of the nation.
If today's children are not connected to nature, who will stand up for our landscape and nature in the future? "
Last year the compilers of the Oxford Junior Dictionary were confronted with public outrage after removing "natural" words such as "jerk" and "cygnet" with modern terms such as "blog" and "chat room".
More than 175,000 signed an online petition to have them repaired.
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