GUWAHATI, Sept 23 - The Oxford University Press has finally made amends by rectifying the definition of the word ‘Assamese’ in its online foreign edition dictionaries. The correction was made after the entry was reviewed by the editorial team of the Oxford University Press following an email by this newspaper. In an email, the United Kingdom (UK) office of the Oxford University Press informed about the corrective step initiated by it.
“I am getting in touch with you to confirm that the OxfordDictionaries.com definition of ‘Assamese’ has now been updated,” said the email written to this correspondent by Ella Percival, Communications Manager, Global Academic Division, Oxford University Press, UK.
Ella also shared the links showing the update in the online dictionaries stating that ‘This revised definition is now live on our website: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/assamese.”
After the update, the mass noun of Assamese is now defined as ‘An Indic language spoken mainly in Assam’ replacing the earlier definition where it was defined (mass noun) as a language related to Bengali which is spoken by around 23 million people, roughly half in Assam and half in Bangladesh.
Its adjective form is also now shown as ‘relating to Assam, its people, or their language.’ After the error was pointed out and referred to the Oxford University Press based in the UK, the latter had assured to review the entry of ‘Assamese’ in its Oxford Dictionary of English.
The misleading definition (noun form) in the most credible and widely read category of dictionary ‘Oxford Dictionary of English’, published by the Oxford University Press with ISBN 978-0-19.9571123 in its UK edition, was widely criticized. Even the Oxford online app, which is one of the most popular online dictionaries, also had the same definition.
The Assam Tribune’s Assistant Editor Partha Pratim Hazarika also filed an online petition in this regard with the change.org.