I thought this entry was not fair. So, I decided to immediately write a quick note to them. This is what I wrote.
I am a Bhutanese citizen and a regular user of your online dictionaries at www.oxforddictionaries.com. This morning, I was surprised by your definition of my country, Bhutan. You have defined Bhutan as "a small independent kingdom on the south-eastern slopes of the Himalayas, a protectorate of the Republic of India...". First, an "independent kingdom" cannot be a protectorate of any country. Your own dictionary defines the word protectorate as "a state that is controlled and protected by another". Bhutan is not controlled and protected by another country. It is a sovereign country with a constitution, an elected government, more than a 100 years old monarchy, a robust army, an independent judiciary, UN membership, and so on. I will be grateful to you if you could kindly explain to me why you decided to define Bhutan in this way. I am asking this question as a private citizen.
Dear Needrup Zangpo
Thank you for your email to Oxford Dictionaries and we are sorry if our entry for Bhutan has caused any offence. We have re-examined this particular entry and have removed the reference to 'a protectorate of India'. The corrected entry will appear on the Oxford Dictionaries Online at the next update to the website.
Although they did not explain to me their editorial decision on the entry, I am happy that they have re-examined the entry and decided to remove the reference to Bhutan as a protectorate of India. I am also happy with the promptness with which they replied to my email considering a large number of queries, suggestions, comments and feedback they must be handling.
For those who care to read on
Online Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries are the most comprehensive and exhaustive dictionaries I have known. Oxford dictionaries, I have observed, contain more root words and their meanings than Cambridge dictionaries. The word castrate, for example, is more comprehensively defined in Oxforddictionaries than in Cambridge dictionaries. But Cambridge dictionaries come free with phonetics, audio pronunciation of each word and grammatical information like parts of speech. By the way, I am using the free versions of the dictionaries. The paid versions have a lot more to offer.
Dictionaries are a rich source of lessons on language and grammar. For example, both Cambridge and Oxford dictionaries deal with definite article ‘the’ better than most grammar books in the town. Online dictionaries today come with a lot of free packages like English for learners, language games, tips for clear writing as opposed to convoluted writing, and so on. Online dictionaries are gems in the world-wide mine of information and knowledge.