Hostelworld.com is asking Oxford, Collins and Chambers' dictionaries to redefine the word hostel. Many dictionaries still use outdated and inaccurate definitions of the word.
For example, the Collins English Dictionary defines hostel as "1. a residence providing shelter for the homeless, esp one run for charitable rather than for profitable purposes and 2. a residence for students, nurses, etc. 3. Youth Hostel".
"The vast majority of hostels in the world are now comfortable, clean places and many of an extremely high standard," says Hostelworld.com, who has written to the main UK dictionaries to campaign for the redefinition. "To describe them as homeless shelters or cheap bunkhouse accommodation for youths is simply wrong. Dictionaries are stuck firmly in the rambling shorts and knapsack era of Enid Blyton books. They need to get with the times."
"Hostels have moved on but, sadly, some dictionary definitions haven't. Language is always evolving and modern hostels are nothing like the image some dictionaries portray – it is time they changed", says Hostelworld.com spokesperson Niamh Ni Mhir.