Daily Archives: November 11, 2011

Strange ABCs

Do you think the quality of English of our country’s next generation is all about the PPSMI issue? Not so. Methinks we gotta go down to a level much much lower than that…

If you are someone who isn’t worried about our young children’s educational books, today’s blog will definitely give you something to worry about. If you are already worried about such educational materials, today’s blog is bound to push you over the edge!

Now we all know how important it is for a child to learn the ABCs. It is after all, the very basic foundation for a child to master the language. As a father of two kids, I have seen many ABC books – you know, the one that spells out A for Apple, B for Ball, etc. but I have to say I have never come across the ABC book I have recently observed.


Firstly, it’s scary enough to note that the book is published as a 1Malaysia series thingy. How it managed to get that status is beyond me. But the main highlight of the books of the series is the strange identifications of an English word associated with the corresponding alphabet.

For example, the typical word associated with A would be like Apple or Ant, right? In these pages, you get stuff like A for Air-Conditioner… and that is already a very SANE example. Try not to laugh too hard when you check out some of the more weirder ones below…


Do we actually need to teach our kids about this strange species that most people have not even heard of?


I laughed so hard when I saw this, but when I did a quick Google, I found out that there IS (gasp!) such an animal! It is essentially a hybrid between a zebra and an equine. Question is, why the strange choice?


Another laughable inclusion. A quick search on Wiki taught me that it also exists, well, sort of – as it is defined as an extinct sub-species of the plains zebra. How it got resurrected in print again is a total mystery!


Erm…no other normal-looking words that begin with N? Sigh..


Ooh…they couldn’t put the English word because it starts with B…:-p


Learnt something new again here…!


Somehow, just ‘zebra’ won’t cut it..:-p


Must be so difficult to come up with an M word…”-p


‘Duck’ would have been too obvious, huh?


The company must be so honored to be associated with this book…


Whoa…publisher must really love food…


More proof…:-P


So next time before you buy an ABC book, better check through to confirm it wasn’t a joke book, ok? 😛

If this book is a model of the type of English learning tools we publish, I shudder to think of what is being published for our students at the primary or even tertiary levels! 😮