Thursday, August 20, 1998 Published at 12:20 GMT 13:20 UK
Yorkshire has 'no substantive existence'
Yorkshire is no longer strictly considered a county
The existence of Yorkshire, the home of black puddings and the Brontė sisters, has been called into question by a new dictionary definition.
The compilers of the latest edition of the New Oxford Dictionary of English have caused uproar by describing the home of rolling dales, flat caps and whippets as "a former county of Northern England."
The Oxford University Press justifies its decision because Yorkshire no longer has a local government and the dictionary defines a 'county' as "the chief unit of local administration".
Though they do concede that the decision to wipe it off the map required a lot of thought and gave them a great deal of trouble.
But not as much trouble as it is causing the legendary proud inhabitants of the supposedly ex-county. Some enraged Yorkshiremen have called for a boycott of the reference book.
However, the dictionary does acknowledge the existence of Yorkshire puddings, Yorkshire terriers and Yorkshire fog - a type of grass.
It also credits Yorkshire cricketers with the introduction of 'yorking' and the 'yorker' (a ball bowled to pitch immediately under the bat). At least famous Yorkshiremen Geoff Boycott and Fred Trueman can take comfort from that.