Friday, October 28, 2011

Are There Any Alternate Pronunciations?

Our town is holding a town-wide charity spelling bee. My kids can't wait to go watch it.

At first, they didn't quite grasp the concept of a spelling bee, but I could tell that my son-- who can turn anything (raking leaves, taking a shower, putting socks in the hamper) into a competition-- was intrigued. Third graders don't have G.P.A.s or class rankings (yet) so the notion of a crossover between academics and winning is no doubt very appealing.

"What kind of words do they spell?" he asked. "Words like vegetable?"

Yeah, no.

Presented with a perfect opportunity to show rather than tell, I pulled up some clips on You Tube from the Scripps National Spelling Bee. We watched kids spell words like guerdon, phoresy, periscii and cymotrichous. Say whaaaa....?

Now we have our own in-home spelling bees, with the kids asking me for definitions and sentences and then pretending to write the words on their hands as they spell them. It's hysterical (language of origin: greek).

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