With the Scripps National Spelling Bee underway in Washington, D.C., the local paper has posted a five-word challenge hosted by 2006 champ Kerry Close. You can click on buttons to hear definition, language of origin, tips from current contestants, and guesses ventured by passers-by in the USA’s capital city.
Those words are all pretty easy, but three of them are very “foreign” borrowings. If you know Spanish and French, it’s not really a challenge.
I admire good spellers, but I think spelling bees are pointless, though they are slightly entertaining. Spelling a word is not nearly as important as using it in a meaningful and effective way (especially if it’s a word you’d otherwise never utter or write). That’s what editors are for. Proof-reading, on the other hand, is fairly mechanical.
Got 'em all. Only because I was typing, though. I’m a visual speller and can tell if what I’ve written doesn’t look right. If you ask me to spell it aloud, spelling-bee style, I don’t stand a chance. You’ll see me air-writing the word in desperation.
I participated in my school spelling bee once. I was given “journalism.” I know exactly how it’s written and could even picture the word in my head, but at that time in my life I had difficulty with confusing the sounds for J and G. As a result, although I knew the word, the very first letter out of my mouth was G. I corrected my mistake instantly, but of course that’s not good enough. Sigh. I’m positive I could have won the contest were it not for that one slip.
As for this one, I got 4 out of 5. I didn’t know the last word, but I figure I did pretty well considering I was one letter off.
Most of the time, I’m thrown by words I’ve never heard of. Not only have I heard all of these, but four of them are words I use on a regular basis.
I was kind of thrown by word #4 because I wasn’t sure how to type a certain letter it uses that isn’t in the English language and doesn’t appear on my American keyboard, but it accepted the English equivalent.
When removing the ñ in jalapeño to translate to English, why doesn’t it become jalapenyo, like cañon becomes canyon?
Which surprised me. I’m the schlub who misspelled the name of Michael Romanov in a report on him. Every time I mentioned his name, I flubbed it. (It was the same misspelling each time, but…) This might not have been so bad, but -