'P Is for Pterodactyl' alphabet book teaches kids some anomalies of the English language


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/26/p-is-for-pterodactyl-alpha.html



'nuff said.


This is why no one wants to play Ghost with me!
“What do you mean it starts with ‘cn?!’”
“Well yeah. You have a problem with jellyfish?”


This reminds me on Shel Silverstein’s wonderful Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book: A Primer for Adults Only.


teaches kids some anomalies of the English language

Roger That!


Reminds me of the Cajun who named his dog Phideaux (Fido.)


I like it. I like it alott.


That’s a great one. I was going to mention it. But, there’s also Neil Gaiman’s Dangerous Alphabet, which was a household favorite a few years back.

It’s lyrical, brilliantly drawn, scary, and funny.


I’m totally getting one of these. It hits even with the regular books. “Cee is for Cat!” (toddler gives puzzled look).


Reminds me of a professor from college who would spell out his name which started with a “k, as in knife.”


Or… Ghoti.

(That’s gh as in “enough”, o as in “women”, and ti as in “superstition”.)



Does the book address the proper pronunciation of GIF?

I’m on the hard-G side (as in “gift”), which is of course the One True Correct Pronunciation.


I remember seeing a whole radio alphabet like this with “w” for wrong, “a” for aether, “f” for fjord, “t” for tmesis and so on. I had a friend who had two "p"s in his last name. When asked to spell it aloud, he always included “double p, ‘p’ as in pneumonia”.


We just got a copy and will give it to our friends who have young children.


See, also, “Crazy ABCs” by Barenaked Ladies. Great song from a great kids album.


The spec actually explains that it’s pronounced as “jiffy”. The only critique I’ve ever seen off that is

  • that’s not how G works (see subject of thread),
  • it looks natural to say it with a hard G and unnatural to say it with a soft G (I disagree, as the spelling is what made me guess at the soft G the first time I saw it… now of the word had been “giff,”…) and
  • everybody naturally pronounces it with a hard G until lectured (weirdly, data suggests a 50/50 split)

The last time I argued about this in person, it was with my friend who declared everything uses a hard G. My friend’s name is Geoff…


Thompson changes it up almost every time:

I hadn’t recalled Thomson doing it as well, but here he is:

But I’m confused about “f as in fjord.” Doesn’t it start with a regular “f” sound?


You’re right. I wish I could find that list.

					- K