Sunday, January 24, 2010

1st Durham Spelling Bee Results!

 
Winner Collin Lee (right) and Spelling G

Congratulations to Collin Lee, the winner of the 1st Durham Spelling Bee! Collin went 5 rounds, winning the Bee with the word, infundibuliform (shaped like a funnel).  Second place honors went to Stephanie (CogSciLibrarian) who was neck and neck with Collin until going out on the word, huhu (a New Zealand beetle larva).

We all had a great time.  There were 22 spellers from a total of about 70 people in attendance.  A few of the spellers even came with their own cheering sections.  Team Funk had especially creative signs.  Words ranged from the fun and easy (welcome, friendly, spunky) to the face-squinching (gobemouche, eleemosynary, deipnosophist).  See below for the complete list of words used in the Bee.

Many thanks to Tracy and Joe Van Gogh for sponsoring the Bee and providing the prizes (travel mugs, coffee beans and a $25 gift certificate!).  Thanks also to Mike F. and Russ G. for providing audio equipment and to Mark D. for all the running around and troubleshooting.  Special thanks go to Liz for saving the day with her technical and social expertise.  She rocks so hard.
 


Here is a complete list of words used at the Bee:
welcome
friendly
greeting
salutation
leisure
pleasant
gratifying
agreeable
amiable
chummy
companionship
affectionate
amusement
harmony
entertainment
interesting
exciting
muffin
fearless
courage
valiant
spunky
abyss
access
anthem
cocoon
dillydally
enchilada
fictitious
fiery
gibberish
hubbub
jackal
juggernaut
lemonade
leotard
lozenge
macaroon
ointment
oxygen
posse
preen
quantum
sausage
accordionist
adjacent
aerial
affability
ambitious
barbarous
bellicose
billionaire
correspondent
cosmopolitan
dashiki
eloquent
exquisite
foofaraw
generalissimo
homonym
iniquity
jackanapes
poltroon
pompous
porcine
camaraderie
carillon
dirndl
echolalia
epitome
eschew
estuarine
flaneur
frigorific
gnocchi
inimitable
inveigle
juxtaposition
katzenjammer
legerdemain
otiose
pellagra
polloi
antimacassar
bouillabaisse
deipnosophist
dickcissel
ditokous
eleemosynary
galactorrhea
gobemouche
hohe
mansuetude
huhu
infundibuliform

More photos here:

Thanks to everyone for participating.  
You all made it a fun event!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prizes!


The lucky skillful winner will receive a coffee gift set: a Joe Van Gogh travel mug with a bag of their freshly roasted coffee!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A 19th century slang dictionary

OK, strictly speaking, I'm straying a bit from the spelling bee here, but it is related.  I love this kind of 19th century period slang.  I should start incorporating more of it into everyday language.  i.e.:

"They began to suspicion, maybe, that they had got the wrong sow by the ear."

I reckon my friend, Jebediah Jones, will have a field day with this link.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bonus for blog readers!

You, dear readers, get a little something for your effort.  At least one of these words will be in the pool of potential words for the Durham Spelling Bee:

jovial
ridiculous
innate
obstinate
discern
mediocre
insidious
rupture
precipitate
erudite
colloquial
intractable
heinousness
zenith
alfalfa
mosque
alcohol
tariff
lilac
alcove
gulag
parka
robot
samovar
kremlin
troika
mammoth
peloton
barrage
chagrin
pacifism
manicure


Bon App├ętit!

One week until Spelling Day

The 1st Bee is only one week away!  Watch this space for PRIZES and rules.


Date/time/place/map are here:
http://durhamspellingbee.blogspot.com/2009/12/we-have-date-first-durham-spelling-bee.html

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Harper's Index: "dictionary"

Don't you just love the Harper's Index? Now you can create your own custom list from their backfile.


Search Harper's Index: Numbers and statistics for "dictionary"


Too much fun!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

1,000 words

1,000 words: that is how many I have selected so far as the pool of words from which to choose during our first bee. We won't need that many (let's hope) but this will ensure that we have a nice mix of easy, medium, difficult, and championship words.

That's not so bad considering estimates indicating the average adult native speaker of English possesses a vocabulary of approximately 38,000 words (estimates vary widely as you might expect; that number is the average of several other averages I looked up, so take it with a grain of salt).

Rest assured that our 1,000 words are Grade-A Prime nutritious and delicious.


Monday, January 4, 2010

More spelling lists
Here are some more lists for you to print out and enjoy.  From the preface:
The Consolidated Word List  is a compilation of over 100 Scripps National Spelling bee word lists dating as far back as 1950. There are 23,413 unique words in this 2004 edition. Parts of speech, language origins, pronunciations, definitions, and sentences are provided for 43% (10,139) of these words. The words are divided into three categories:
• Words Appearing Infrequently (6,615 words; 22% with word information)
• Words Appearing with Moderate Frequency (9,058 words; 40% with word information)
• Words Appearing Frequently  (7,740 words; 66% with word information) 
There is some overlap with the previously posted word lists.  But, really, can there be too many word lists?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Spelling Lists

Which words should I learn?
The official word source for the Durham Spelling Bee is Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged.  It is the largest American dictionary in existence.  It contains more than 470,000 entries, so to make things easier for you, here are some links to the much smaller Consolidated Word Lists used by the Scripps National Spelling Bee:

Have fun!
Blog Directory So You Think You Can Spell? BlogTogether Wordnik blog Joe Van Gogh