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Spelling Bee - You don't have to like it to win

May 31, 2007 - Washington DC

I watched the live TV show of Scripps National Spelling Bee contest with my family. I was so impressed by the final 59 spellers from 286 who started the competition yesterday. I was so glad that Evan O'Dorney from Danville, California was the last one standing and gave out the winning word, "serrefine." At age 13, he is the youngest champaion in the 80-year history.

He won a big trophy and a $35,000 prize, plus a $5000 scholarship, a $2,500 savings bond and a set of reference works. He said he knew how to spell the winning word - a noun describing small forceps - as soon as the pronouncer said it.

Evan said he wasn't surpirsed to win, but he confessed that spelling isn't his top interest. When a report asked him if he would like spelling more after this contest, he simply replied with another question: "Are you saying I have to like spelling more?" I sense he was glad the contest is all over.

"My favorite things to do were math and music, and with the math I really like the way the numbers fit together," he said. "And with the music I like to let out ideas by composing notes - and the spelling is just a bunch of memorization." I completely agree with Evan. I could remember these words if I want to, but I rather use my brain for other things, like to memorize the names and points of Pokemon and Yu-Gi-oh cards.

I don't find any use of these winning words:

- aniseikonia (a visual defect);
- oberek (a Polish folk dance);
- cyanophcean (a kind of algae);
- girolle (a kind of mushroom);
- zacate (a grassy plant);
- fauchard (a long-handled weapon);
- clevice (a type of fastening device);
- schuhplattler (a German-based word describing a dance);
- coryza (a medical word for cold in the head).

If you know all these words, you are my champaion! Send me an email, I will give you an award.

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