Saturday, November 20, 2010

Spelling Bee tonight!

We'll see you tonight at Joe Van Gogh DurhamSign-up at 6:00 p.m. Spelling begins at 6:30 p.m. The first 25 spellers get a spot.  Every speller gets a prize!  Everyone else achieves total enlightenment.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


The kind folks at Joe Van Gogh are providing the big prizes for the Bee!
1st place wins a 10-cup Melitta Pourover pot, #6 filters, bag of coffee, and a travel mug

2nd place wins a bag of coffee and travel mug
There will also be consolations for everyone because, let's face it, everyone's a loser except the last person standing!  Not the best motto for the Durham Spelling Bee? Come with your suggestions on Saturday night.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Durham's Spelling Bee for Grown-Ups this Saturday!

Come on out to the Durham Spelling Bee on Saturday, November 20th at Joe Van Gogh.  Cheer for your favorite spellers and give it a try, yourself.  Support local Durham.  Achieve enlightenment.  Become happy forever.

     Sign up at 6:00 p.m.
     Spelling begins at 6:30 p.m.

There is a limit of 25 spellers, so come out and sign up early.  There will be prizes!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Want to be in a documentary? Filming the Spelling Bee

Hi all,

A Duke student contacted me about filming the Durham Spelling Bee for a documentary film class.  He would like to get some interviews with participants before the bee.  Would you like to be interviewed before the upcoming Nov. 20 Bee? 

Kyle Kunkle will be filming the Bee at Joe Van Gogh on the 20th.  He is interested in talking to you beforehand about how you are preparing (or not) for the spelling bee and why you are participating or what you like about it.  If you have not participated before, but are planning on it for November 20, he would still be interested in hearing from you.  If you'd like to help him out, please contact Kyle at:

Feel free to drop me a line, too.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Words that should be banished from the English Language

I was thinking about the word webinar today and what an ugly word it is.  According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it was first used in 1997 in a publication called DM News (it turns out that DM stands for Direct Marketing, which further solidifies and justifies my hatred of the word).  This web + seminar construction gives rise to other equally ugly words like webisode and vlog.

I like new words that are useful, but constructions like this one seem a bit too twee for my taste.  Webinar...  it is one of those words that will seem exceedingly quaint in about 10 years.  Luckily, the Durham Spelling Bee uses the Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, as its source, where these words do not appear.  So, you will never encounter them at the bee.  You're welcome.

Are there any words you think should be banished? Leave a comment.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Durham Spelling Bee November 20!

Nothing says mid-autumn pre-Thanksgiving amusement like the Durham Spelling Bee.  And you're in luck because the next one is coming up on Saturday, November 20th at the lovely Joe Van Gogh coffee house, 1104B Broad Street, in Durham (map).

     Sign up at 6:00 p.m.
     Spelling begins at 6:30 p.m.

You have two and a half weeks to bone up (or not).  Want some pointers?  We have lots of word lists.

There is a limit of 25 spellers (unlimited friends and enthusiasts) so you'll want to arrive early enough to sign up, mingle, and enjoy the best espresso drinks in North Carolina.  Bring a friend and cheer each other on.  Oh, and there will be prizes!

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