Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | All Access E-Edition | Home RSS

Could you spell apparatchik?

March 22, 2010 - Michael Palmer

The Belmont County Spelling Bee is an impressive event. It showcases some of the most intelligent young students in our area.

National Spelling Bee was begun in 1925. Nine students participated in the first national finals. In 1942, Scripps acquired the rights to the program. There was no Scripps National Spelling Bee during the World War II years of 1943, 1944, and 1945. Of the 85 National Spelling Bee champions, 44 have been girls and 41 have been boys. Co-champions were declared in 1950, 1957, and 1962. The 2010 Scripps National Spelling Bee will involve more than 11 million students.

In the list of Frequently misspelled words on the Spelling Bee website number 48 is ‘pastime.’ Last year’s champion and this year’s runner-up in the Belmont County Spelling Bee, Reese Boyd, will remember that word.


As many of us who have had the opportunity to be in the final few of a spelling bee, the word that trips us up will remain in our memory. My word was, ‘rendezvous.’ The word is French in origin, which means ‘sounding it out’ like the Spelling teacher suggested is not much help in this case.

Let’s face it, our language is a Jambalaya composed of words from all around the world and from many different languages. It is a tough assignment to be a champion speller.

I have covered many of the local qualifiers for the Belmont County Spelling Bee and have seen some very intelligent young people stand up in front of a crowd and spell words that most of us could not.

One of the highlights of the qualifying trail was a special needs student in Bellaire that competed in that Bee was a joy and inspiration to all that attended. He was constantly in fear of the judge with the bell. Round after round, he successfully spelled words and then turned to the judges and said, “Go ahead and ring the bell.” The crowd in attendance immediately became fans and applauded the young man when he finally was eliminated.

Eighteen qualifiers met at the Belmont County Bee last Thursday and the words this year must have been chosen by someone who was very hungry at the time they selected them. Words like Chimichanga, Quesadilla and Sukiyaki added to the already

infinitesimal list of possible words.

Meriam-Webster hosts a website where spellers can practice and learn how to discern the proper spelling by root.

Here is one question from the practice:

“The consonants gn often occur in words from Latin. When they divide two syllables of a word, both of them are pronounced. Some words from Latin, however, have the consonants gn in a single syllable. In this case, the g is silent, as in design. Can you think of three other words from Latin in which this happens?”

Answer: Some other words with a silent g include assign, benign, impugn, and reign.

Eighth grader AJ Feiock of Union Local Middle School is this year’s champion and he begins the arduous task of studying for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

Visit: to take your own spelling test. The levels are basic and challenge.

I went full out and took the challenge test. Scored 9 of 25 and was happy with the results. Note: The spell check on my computer was absolutely NO help when I tried to cheat.

Good Luck AJ, you are going to need it, this is some tough stuff.


Article Comments

No comments posted for this article.

Post a Comment

You must first login before you can comment.

*Your email address:
Remember my email address.


I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web