watching the national spelling bee on ESPN

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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 (fifteen years ago) link

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 (fifteen years ago) link

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 (fifteen years ago) link

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 (fifteen years ago) link

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 (fifteen years ago) link

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 (fifteen years ago) link

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 (fifteen years ago) link

dan: there's always this

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

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 (fifteen years ago) link

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 (fifteen years ago) link

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 (fifteen years ago) link

nine years pass...

illicium, man that was a tough one 😕

tehresa, Friday, 27 May 2016 00:47 (six years ago) link

"The dreaded schwa claims another."

tehresa, Friday, 27 May 2016 02:04 (six years ago) link


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