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P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever

Posted: November 16, 2018
P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever
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In P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever, Raj Halder and Chris Carpenter take a jab or two (or 26) at the English language, pairing the letters of the alphabet with words that defy the typical intent of alphabet books as teaching tools for our kids. "P is for peeech. Puh, puh, peach. P." But! "P is also for...ter-a-dac-til. Tuh, tuh, pterodactyl." Huh?

The book's purpose is to show how whacked out the English language is. And probably also to be funny. I guess it accomplishes both, but, come on. Give English a break. Most of the words in P Is for Pterodactyl aren't English by birth. Pterodactyl has Greek smeared all over it. And czar (plus its alternative spelling tsar) and tsunami take their trickster roots from Russian and Japanese.

OK, we still have gnat and knight and aisle and aeons, whose etymologies I don't feel like looking up right now, and they may in fact be English language anomalies. I'm just saying, go ahead and buy P Is for Pterodactyl, and have a chuckle. Or a cry trying to read and explain it to your kiddos.

But give English a break. Without it, we wouldn't have Romeo & Juliet. East of Eden. The Gettysburg Address. "The Humpty Dance." And The Worst Alphabet Book Ever could never exist in the first place.

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