watching the national spelling bee on ESPN

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I watched it. On ESPN. There was active commentary by two broadcast types.
it might be in my top ten of the weirdest things I've seen on television. BECAUSE it was on ESPN.
Those poor kids. The girl who won had to breathe into her hands every time she uttered a letter. And leave the stage. With her coach. The other kids just went back to their awful, hard backed chairs.
They are awesome spellers, no doubt. But it seems sort of upsetting and wrong to subject kids to this competition. With commentary!

aimurchie (aimurchie), Tuesday, 26 December 2006 17:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

ESPN's (and it's brethren's) "WE WILL SHOW ANY COMPETITION NO MATTER WHAT IT IS AND HOW YOUNG OR UNPREPARED THE COMPETITORS ARE IF THERE IS EVEN AN INKLING OF INTEREST" policy is kind of grating, I will admit. That said I am also glad that I can occassionaly watch a high school football game that I wouldn't get to see otherwise. . .

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 26 December 2006 17:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i tried to watch a bit of this and it was just so incredibly awful hearing these kids stumble over themselves and shake as they asked for alternate definitions, pronunciations and countries of origin. scary scary

ian (orion), Tuesday, 26 December 2006 17:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Whatever sins Tony Kornheiser has to atone for, I have to give him excelsior kudos for talking about "those twitching freaks" on his radio show.

Joe Isuzu's Petals (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 26 December 2006 17:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

ESPN2 ran the 1997 Spelling Bee last night.

milo (milo), Tuesday, 26 December 2006 17:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

watched some of this last night & we were yelling at the screen when the girl started 'weltschmerz' with a v

and what (ooo), Tuesday, 26 December 2006 17:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

what were you yelling?

Marmot (marmotwolof), Tuesday, 26 December 2006 20:35 (twelve years ago) Permalink

we tried to watch but it was so noisy at my aunt's house where all were gathered that there was no way to pay attention/hear :\
pretty funny how those kids ask questions about word origin and use in sentence, etc. cause it's so obvious they're just stalling!

tehresa (tehresa), Tuesday, 26 December 2006 20:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

it seemed like it got easier at the end.But the girl who won -oh my! She was breathing into her hands between letters!
AND she had to leave the stage because she was such a fucking freak,
AND she was wearing some awful clothes.
I liked the little boy who almost beat her, his glasses and his big "sign" around his neck were almost bigger than he was!
The commentary part - um... it's not the Westminster Dog show.
"he's quite a competitor, isn't he?" "Well, now that you mention that Joan, he really does bring something to the table!"
"Was he here last year?"
((Show Stats of Kid))
"Why yes he was! And this year might be his big chance - or downfall!"

Spell:fuckyouverymuch.

"origin please? can you use it in a sentence?"

aimurchie (aimurchie), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 06:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

was this rebecca sealfon? because if it was, stop hatin', she is a LEGEND

Matt Cibula (Formerly, the Haikunym), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 06:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

She can't breathe while she spells.

aimurchie (aimurchie), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 08:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

haha when i won the wburg spelling bee my roommate posted a photo of rebecca sealfon on my bedroom door the next day

jo ga11ucci electrix (joseph), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 08:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Wow. It was the 1997 spelling bee and she is a legend. And a freak. Were we all watching the 1997 spelling bee?
I still hate her and her creepy parents and her creepy coach and her stupid flowing white robe outfit.
But I have learned something. Not sure what. Something.

aimurchie (aimurchie), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 13:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The breathing into her hands thing...we thought she was autistic but later noticed other kids doing things like that...I think the kids spell the word out so they can feel their mouth saying it but are careful to not accidently say the word/letter into the microphone.

That was the 97 bee, the latest bee was after and was one by a girl from the Jersery shore who seemed relatively well-adjusted.

dan selzer (dan selzer), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 15:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oh man, it was the EUONYM bee? I wdnt ha' dialed past.

Dr M (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 15:23 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Scrabble alert!
Now I want to see MORE spelling bees on ESPN. it bothered me, initially, because it was Christmas Day and the freak show broke my heart because they (the kids) shouldn't be forced into these agonizing situations.
Now that my bitter heart has become black and cruel again, I want a 24 hour cable channel of spelling bees, math quizzes, and kids taking the MCAS.
The SAT's could be broadcast as well - with commentary.
"he's licking his number two pencil!"
"Lot's of folks think he's gonna score high - I'm seeing a little doubt there!"
"No, Greg, I have to say that kid filled in that circle with confidence. He's a competitor!"

aimurchie (aimurchie), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 17:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

they (the kids) shouldn't be forced into these agonizing situations.

Who was forced? Somebody call the cops!

Joe Isuzu's Petals (Rock Hardy), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 17:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah, i willingly did the bee, and i imagine most, if not all, kids do too. i had to convince my teacher to hold one just so i could enter it!

jo ga11ucci electrix (joseph), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 18:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ha, I did that with the geography bee.

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 18:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

hahaha the fact that a bunch of you watched a re-run of the 97 bee without realizing it = proof that spelling-bee-kid fashion is totally classic and timeless and the signature Sealfon "PHEAR MY MASSIVE SHIRT" middle-school steez will LIVE FOREVER. she should be in grad school by now!

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 19:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i'd bet she's either super-cute or will grow up to become a sort of future-version of ellen ripstein of crossword-tournament fame.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 19:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Wikipedia sez: "She is currently a Ph.D. student in Biology at Duke University."

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 19:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Article in a Princeton student newspaper.

jaymc (jaymc), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 19:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Not mentioned: obvious 50% of basis of Luke's-daughter character on Gilmore Girls. (Other 50% = Anastasia Krupnik)

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 19:36 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Why did I start this thread?

aimurchie (aimurchie), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 20:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Think back... 27 whole hours.

Joe Isuzu's Petals (Rock Hardy), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 20:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

At the moment, Sealfon is writing her thesis on the comparative dental morphology among members of the weasel family and its effect on their ecology.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 23:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah I totally thought this was current. kids just ... look like that

J L (HPSCHD), Wednesday, 27 December 2006 23:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Think back... 27 whole hours. "

That's asking a lot.

aimurchie (aimurchie), Thursday, 28 December 2006 02:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I'm very busy finding weasels for Ms. Sealfon.

aimurchie (aimurchie), Thursday, 28 December 2006 02:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

lol

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver (hoosteen), Thursday, 28 December 2006 03:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

here's my questions...

First of all, why is this just limited to middle-schoolish children? Why not adults as well? Seems hard enough.

Second...my girlfriend explained that its a lot more then rote memorization, that they understand the etymology and roots of words and can figure out how words are spelled that they've never even heard before...so why is it fair to include words that are obviously NOT part of the english language and have no way to discern the history...I'm looking at you "Norouz" aka the Persian New Year, a word which, when googled, seems to have 14 different spellings.

And what was with the emphasis on Persian and Babalonian history and religion? There were like 3 words derived from ancient cults and sects.

dan selzer (dan selzer), Thursday, 28 December 2006 15:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's a cult.

jaymc (jaymc), Thursday, 28 December 2006 16:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

it seemed like it got easier at the end.But the girl who won -oh my! She was breathing into her hands between letters!
AND she had to leave the stage because she was such a fucking freak,
AND she was wearing some awful clothes.

HELLO obv she had words written on her hands, and when she left the stage it was to ask her coach how to spell things, and the awful clothes were to put off the other contestants. she's not as innocent as you think.

ken c (ken c), Thursday, 28 December 2006 16:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

She was wearing normal middle-school dork clothes!

Dan, it's limited to kids because it's intended less as an open sporting competition and more of an academic/extracurricular pursuit -- i.e., you don't allow adults for the same reasons you don't allow adults in high-school debate or track or whatever. I assume the cap is partly traditional -- spelling bees are for younger kids, really, not a high-school pursuit -- but mostly because the hardcore kids put in a lot of time, in a way you wouldn't want to ask of high-school kids, who could be spending their time on much better, less-specific things. Middle school is probably the most appropriate time for someone to get all into spelling bees.

As for foreign words my understanding was always that they didn't use anything that has significant variation in its English transliteration -- were there really some that broke that rule? Normally all loan words, no matter how obscure, are either from languages that share our alphabet or have pretty definite English spellings.

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 28 December 2006 17:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

By high school you should be up to higher-level stuff like envirothon or forensics (the speech and debate kind, not the Quincy kind).

Joe Isuzu's Petals (Rock Hardy), Thursday, 28 December 2006 17:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Normally all loan words, no matter how obscure, are either from languages that share our alphabet or have pretty definite English spellings.

How do they justify the Persian New Year?

dan selzer (dan selzer), Thursday, 28 December 2006 17:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

By me putting the word "normally" at the beginning of the sentence? I have no idea, dude.

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 28 December 2006 17:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Actually wait, I have this idea: The only complete source for words in Round One and all rounds after Round Two is Webster’s Third New International Dictionary and its Addenda Section, copyright 2002, Merriam-Webster, which contains over 470,000 word entries.

So any word that appears in an English text and can be verified against the master dictionary there is fair game -- you'd just need to be the kind of middle-school kid who happens to know how Merriam-Webster likes to transliterate Farsi.

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 28 December 2006 17:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Why were there four or five judges? It can't be that hard to judge - either you spelled the word or you didn't.
I mean...the announcer guy is giving out the words. So it could be assumed that the words have been researched and correct spellings are agreed upon?
Also - they ding the bell when the word is spelled wrong - in most game show type things, a dinging bell means you're right!
Those poor kids. They would get very confused if they had to go on "Family Feud". They'd answer a question correctly, the bell would ding, and they would walk off the stage all dejected and sad.

aimurchie (aimurchie), Thursday, 28 December 2006 19:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

dan: there's always this

jo ga11ucci electrix (joseph), Friday, 29 December 2006 00:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

yeah...when I said what about spelling bees for adults my girlfriend said...there's always williamsburg.

dan selzer (dan selzer), Friday, 29 December 2006 02:05 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i can't stop watching the EUONYM video over and over again
http://www.cnn.com/US/9705/29/spelling.bee.final/bee.39.espn.mov

ken c (ken c), Friday, 29 December 2006 02:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i can't figure out what she said after EUONYM the first time round though..

"is what euonym good"? "As um euonyming name"???

wtf did she say???

ken c (ken c), Friday, 29 December 2006 02:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

nine years pass...

illicium, man that was a tough one 😕

tehresa, Friday, 27 May 2016 00:47 (three years ago) Permalink

"The dreaded schwa claims another."

tehresa, Friday, 27 May 2016 02:04 (three years ago) Permalink


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