I’m preparing the audio files for our Phonetics labs at home, and I’ve been listening to the units in our book, Ship or Sheep?, written by two Brits about 25 years ago. I got to Unit 4 on the [æ] vowel sound and noticed the dialogue they had written using as many words as possible with this sound. The title is “A Bad Hijacker.” Oh boy.
Even before 9/11, I think I would have been very sensitive about this, so I don’t think it’s just because I’m American or what happened 7 years ago. You just don’t write fake dialogues about planes blowing up! Surely there are plenty of other topics you can talk about using words with the [æ] vowel. Who would find it appropriate to talk about a fat lady with a handbag who turns out to be a hijacker on a flight to Amsterdam? And then end the dialogue with a huge explosion as if it were real? Even the book has a little drawing of the plane exploding with the word BANG written across it. ::sigh::
I was liking this book because of their adorable, stereotypical British accents that no one actually speaks with… and then they had to ruin it. I honestly feel a little sick now.