Thanks to Amy for the heads up about Spellbound returning to Sydney cinemas. I was disappointed to have missed it the first time so I’m definitely planning to go. I missed going to the National Spelling Bee by four places in junior high. I won our County Bee but only finished fifth in the regionals. Can’t say I regret it though, as it sounds like a nightmare of stress.


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  1. Wow, good effort! Those kids are amazing. I remember watching the Australian version on TV, and I hadn’t even heard of half the words being put to the kids. Kris, when you participated were you allowed to ask the judges for the origin of the word (you know, Latin, Greek, etc)?

  2. As I recall you’re allowed to ask for its origin, the definition, and for it to be used in a sentence. It’s a big deal in the US and the rules are pretty much set in stone. The publishing company the runs it (Scripps Howard, I believe) puts out a book of all the words each year. Back when I did it there were three levels of word difficulty and I didn’t need to go beyond Level 2 to win the county. (Interesting trivia: Out of the nine kids competing in the county bee that year, two were Howards. The other was my sister, who won for her elementary school. Good spelling genes, I guess.)

    I knew I should’ve studied the Level 3 words for the Regionals but I really didn’t have the ambition. My Level 2 knowledge kept me in while about half the field got weeded out but then they switched it up and I knew I was doomed. My next word was “BLAHG”. (That’s how it sounded to me.) I stalled by asking for the definition and usage and eventually decided to just make up the most creative spelling I could. I went with “BLAGUE”. Turns out that was correct! Thus I lasted one more round and managed to wind up fifth. 🙂

  3. Ef ewe hadd studdey herder u cudd huv wint two the fenals, butt yer write et alweys ceemed two bee ezy four ewe. Juust thenk howe guud ewe wood heve bin if ewe hudd studdey thu werds en thu buks. know tillen howe farr ewe kuld heve wint. nou yor sistir kuld spel butts thets anuther stury.

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