[Warning: This is not a technical post]
Dear Children’s Book Authors
If you’re writing a book in english and feel compelled to put an alphabet part in the book (maybe that is the WHOLE book) please please please for the love of god think about what word you choose for each letter. The english language is pretty messed up, so just choosing any word that starts with the letter in question just won’t do. For example lets consider the letter E - unless you’ve got a pretty good reason not to I expect to see a picture of a fscking EGG when I open the ‘E’ page of the book. Eggs are a fairly distinctive colour and shape. Kids eat eggs (so long as they aren’t alergic to them). Egg is a pretty easy word for a little kid to say. Don’t use a word like Ewe (a female sheep) or Eye (unless you want me to come around to your house and poke one of them out). While these are both good short words and are somewhat easy to say they are atypical of the sound made by the letter E when beginning a word, instead sounding like the letters U or I respectively.
Ewe is particularly bad because it commits the second fairly flagrant sin - using a specific word for a more general concept. If you’ve bought the rights to a nice picture of a ewe and want to use it in your book throw it in as S for sheep not E for ewe, OK? Since a ewe is still a kind of sheep you’re still correct, just being less precise (something you were clearly happy enough to do when you dropped off the species, location, age, lineage and DNA sequence of this particular specimen and compromised at ewe).The worst offender I can recall seeing in this area is a picture of a sheepdog under S. WTF. Do you want my kids to have learning difficulties? Kids will be wondering - it looks like a dog, but the name has sheep in it too. I know what sheep are, but that doesn’t look like a sheep. Could it be both? What other animals can you mix together? Goodbye learning the alphabet and hello Chimeras. Just don’t do this.
Thankyou and good-day