Did you catch the National Spelling Bee last night? As longtime readers know, I’m an avid fan of the contest. It was a terrific show last night. The students have such great poise, enthusiasm, and senses of humor to boot.
The winning word this year was “guerdon.” The champ is Sameer Mishra, a 13-year-old from Indiana. He provided the funniest moment of the spelling bee when he misheard his round 9 word– “numnah” — as “numnut.” Bloomberg reported the moment without mentioning how he blurted out the latter word to uproarious laughter from the audience:
The champion’s winning performance was matched by a dry wit that often delighted the audience. In round 9, he was asked to spell “numnah,” a word that describes the felt pad cut to the shape of a saddle and used as protection for horse’s back.
The term also rhymes with a barnyard vulgarity used to describe someone with less-than-stellar intelligence.
After asking the announcer for a restatement, Sameer sighed and said, “That’s a relief.”
The second- and third-place winners received standing ovations. Thirteen-year-old Tia Thomas, of Coarsegold, California, placed third when she missed the word “opificer.” Runner-up Sidharth Chand, a twelve-year-old from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, dropped the “i” in “prosopopoeia.”
My kids’ favorite word last night was “basenji.”
If you’re looking for a good family movie, “Spellbound” is worth renting.
Thankfully, the educrats opposed to competition and merit haven’t ruined this hallowed academic tradition yet.