May 27, 2016

"Taoiseach, is this an Irish prime minister?"

"Biniou... Is that a Breton bagpipe?"

11 comments:

rhhardin said...

I'm surprised they asked German words. They're spelled as they sound by very definite rules.

YoungHegelian said...

The spelling bees have become awful like this now. They trip up the kids with words that aren't even English, except maybe some author used them untranslated once.

Sure, there are lots of foreign words that are "real" English words now (e.g. detente, zeitgeist) and words that were imported so long ago we don't realize how foreign they are (e.g. nabob). But a freakin' Gaelic word like "taoiseach"? Give it a rest!

rehajm said...

I thought the kids were great in the way they supported each other. They've committed themselves to a future of failure on trivia night for not having spent their youth memorizing every word of dialogue from Bugs Bunny and the Brady Bunch as I did.

Ooh my nose!

Curious George said...

I wouldn't know all about this. I watched the hockey game.

Ann Althouse said...

The amazing thing was that the 11-year-old knew thse words and gave the definition himself, asking if he was right and he was.

Ann Althouse said...

But I agree that there were too many foreign words that didn't seem beliebale as English.

Ann Althouse said...

"beliebale"

bad spelling from me!

Believable.

The Godfather said...

There's a town in Wales that supposedly is the longest place name in the world, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. I'm sure all the spelling bee contestants would have learned that one. So for the tie-breaker, have them spell the name of a village in the next valley.

John said...

I came in the living room last night and my son in law was watching this on ESPN. Spelling is now a sport?

I think the word they were spelling when I got there was the Irish PM. I stayed with him for about an hour watching. It was a fascinating contest. Words from all sorts of languages all over the world. Those kids were amazing!

My grandaughter, now 16, finished 6th grade last week, has been in the Scripps spelling bees since 2nd or 3rd grade. Always makes it to the all contest of 10-12 SDA schools. Trades first place back and forth with a girl from another school. This year they went 20(?) rounds, just the two of them. They ran out of words and gave them both 1st place. It is always impressive to watch. Nothing like the ESPN show, though.

Just to brag a bit, she was also valedictorian with a perfect 4.0 average. 5th year running at 4.0. She is scary smart.

John Henry

mikee said...

Long ago I spelled "Viet Nam" that way, in a spelling bee, and the teacher/nun affirmed the correctness of that spelling. I'd been reading the newspapers about world affairs, and had seen the country spelled therein. I look upon the spelling "Vietnam" as a convenient contraction of the proper form to this day.

Times haven't changed. The tricksy Spelling Bee Illuminati are still using odd foreign words in a vain attempt to trip up the less worldly among the contestants.

I'd offer a heartfelt well-done, but I still remember losing my chance at eternal spelling bee fame, when I went to fast on "giraffe" and started it phonetically, with a darn "j." That was the first time, out of twice, that phonics has failed me in a long life.

mikee said...

Too fast, too fast. Autocorrect, that is the third time this day thou has shamed me!