Fredericton — Premier Brian Gallant announced plans yesterday for a new dictionary tailored specifically for New Brunswick. The dictionary, which will be a joint effort from the provincial government and the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick, will carry the title “The Comprehensive Dictionary of New Brunswick” and is being created in an effort to curb illiteracy in the province.
“It’s no secret that this province struggles with literacy,” said Gallant in a statement. “I believe this publication will really appeal to all New Brunswickers and I believe, if I may be so bold, that it will be more comprehensive and better composed than the likes of the Oxford and Webster’s dictionaries.”
Perhaps the most notable additions to the new dictionary will be such oft-used terms as everywheres, somewheres, anywheres and nowheres. One of the more controversial changes proposed is dropping the letter “d” from old, as many believe the final letter is an unnecessary one. “Is that even a change? I always thought the ‘d’ was silent anyway,” replied Saint John resident Margaret Baldwin when asked about the change. “Yes, I’m quite sure it has always been ol’. Anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong.”
When approached about the concept of a new provincial dictionary, Fredericton resident Sandy Enns was quick to offer her opinion. “It’s about time,” she said. “The difference between ‘everywhere’ and ‘everywheres’ is a big one. When you say ‘everywhere’ you only really think of some of the wheres. ‘Everywheres,’ on the other hand, gives the impression of including all of the wheres. It’s an important distinction, y’know?”
Although members of New Brunswick’s provincial government claim that the response to the proposal has thus far been very positive, there are still critics speaking out against the plan. Zoe Watson, the superintendent for the Anglophone South School District, is appalled that a dictionary containing improper spelling is being prepared for release. “I am stunned that the government would do this,” she said. “Is this really what we want to be teaching our children?”
Serge Rousselle, the current minister of Education and Early Childhood Development in New Brunswick, is quick to dismiss these concerns. When reached for comment, Rousselle said, “Look. There are people everywheres in this province using these words and we therefore know that this dictionary is not only correct, but also a necessity. The people aren’t wrong.”
Gallant has yet to offer a set release date for the dictionary, although he says it should be out in time for the start of the 2016-17 school year.