April 13, 2013

Now, as in real life, at the National Spelling Bee, it's not enough to know how to spell words...

... you need to know what they mean.

39 comments:

rhhardin said...

Marriage n. -?

EMD said...

Then it's not a spelling bee, is it?

Christy said...

For the life of me, I cannot figure out the significance of your headline.

I usually know the meanings of words but can neither spell nor pronounce them.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

tt's? I know tatas but I don't tt's

Ann Althouse said...

I drive a TT.

Ann Althouse said...

But yeah, I misspelled "it."

I went out on the first round.

The pre-test.

dreams said...

I like it for as the sportswriter Bill Plaschke said on the Around The Horn ESPN show that now they have to play the whole game rather than rely on trick shots.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Ann Althouse said...
I drive a TT.

4/13/13, 12:10 PM

That explains it (I guess). I was thinking it was more a Murphy's Law thing.

EMD said...

Will is be one of the words? Because, according to recent history, there are wavering definitions.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think that's a fun change to the format.

St. George said...

spurl
blurgits
plewds
watarum
briffit
growlix
nottles
jarns
quimp
agitron
dites
emanata
solrad
lucaflect
indotherm
squeans
wafteron
vites
boozex
nittles
sphericasia
whiteope
oculama
crottle
swalloops

Freeman Hunt said...

The students preparing for spelling bees will learn a lot more this way. Plus, it's exciting in that it throws off the highly systematized study methods that have been developed for bees. Will be interesting to see how these methods adapt.

wyo sis said...

St George
I think you misspelled white hope.

edutcher said...

In the old days, they'd tell you the meaning because, if you'd been exposed to Latin and/or Greek, you could figure out the spelling.

Now they change the rules.

If you like your bee, you can keep it...

Lem said...

What?

I thought I was home free when I leaned how to spell.

Dante said...

Spelling Bees never made much sense to me. Memorization. It reminds me of the Scrabble players.

Even with meanings, it's still memorization. That's what google and spell checkers are for.

wyo sis said...

It's more than memorization.
It's knowing how language works, knowing root words, knowing word origins and spelling conventions from those origins.
Or, it's an ability to memorize, or having a photographic memory.
Or none of the above.
All I know for sure is I'm not very good at it.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's linguistic knowledge and the ability to design efficient study systems more than memorization.

Freeman Hunt said...

It's also team-building, usually within families. You can't win all on your own.

samanthasmom said...

As a teaching tool, spelling bees suck. The kids who need the most help learning to spell are the ones kicked out of the game first. A better way to teach spelling would be to let the kids sit down when they spell a word correctly. But then we'd get accused of ruining the self-esteem of the last kid standing.

Iconochasm said...

St. George, are those uncommon words, or some of the newer Pokemon?

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't think spelling bees are intended to teach spelling to kids generally. I think it's more of a study system competition between elite studiers.

ironrailsironweights said...

"Hairless. H-A-I-R-L-E-S-S. Definition: the most horrible way a woman can be."

Peter

Robert Cook said...

"Marriage n. -?"

Really?

The state of being united to a person in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.

Derek Brown said...

As if writing most line code isn't just rote and memorization but I bet you think coders are super creative right? Spelling bees are like the one nerdy thing that connects us to our lingusitic and cultural past and tradition so its a shame that's going to be undermined.

Lem said...

They should have the faint kid back.

Fritz said...

I learned a new word yesterday, 'olecranon', when I went to the Dr. because mine was swollen. After hearing him pronounce it I had no clue how it was spelled; I would have guessed it started with an e or an a. Learn something everyday. Sometimes, it's just not a good thing.

Patrick said...

Well Fritz, I hope the ol' cranon gets healthy.

Lem said...

You know what sucks about real life?

The fantasies.

Dante said...

wyo sys:

It's knowing how language works, knowing root words, knowing word origins and spelling conventions from those origins.

Isn't that too memorization? I may have mentioned it before, as an engineer, I wasn't very happy with my English GRE scores. So I memorized a bunch of words and my score jumped over 30%.

ndspinelli said...

The kid who won the San Diego regional Spelling Bee won w/ the word "bonspiel." A difficult word for kids in SoCal, but easy for Badger and Gopher kids.

Lem said...

A spell to spell and dispel a notion that we are a nation of appalling spelling.

jr565 said...

.Spelling bees measure spelling,not vocabulary.
There are some words in there you might be able to spell but have no clue as to meaning. And prior to now you could have someone ask the judge for the meaning. This sounds more like a really hard vocabulary competition

Ann Althouse said...

It's only the opening test that includes meaning.

Seems like they're trying to get a more well-rounded set of language mavens.

Eric Jablow said...

Can you imagine a Scrabble™ tournament with this rule?

cheddar said...

The girl who won our elementary school spelling bee won by spelling LAHAR. Previous year's winner won with KNAVERY. I think the national competitors are freakishly intense and I wouldn't recommend that my child devote that much time to studying words but at the school level the bee is pretty fun.

cheddar said...

The girl who won our elementary school spelling bee won by spelling LAHAR. Previous year's winner won with KNAVERY. I think the national competitors are freakishly intense and I wouldn't recommend that my child devote that much time to studying words but at the school level the bee is pretty fun.

cheddar said...

and I think knowing the meanings at the local level would be very useful, too.