Before the bee began in earnest, at the outset, emcee Ben Greenman told the participants, "Think about the alphabet."
And during the bee, a spelling bee to benefit the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, many words were broadcast for the enjoyment of all and sundry. Some words were quite nice (tierce, timbale), some
As is the annual tradition, sacrilegious felled a couple of participants. Mr Sheidlower was nonplussed at this (in the traditional sense of the word).
Colophon proved a stumper, too.
One of the participants -- was it Patricia Marx? -- asked for the definition of uncomplimentary before she spelt it. A wise woman.
Until Mr Sheidlower read the word chordal aloud in a sentence, I imagined it as something difficult, out of the Aztecs. That Roseanne Cash received the word was a sweet coincidence.
|from a letter c. 1517|