I spent all last Thursday afternoon with a nagging feeling that I was forgetting to do something, and only realized that I had missed the National Spelling Bee an hour or two after it ended. I guess the habit of not watching ESPN is hard to break — like the habit of not posting here. The details of this year’s contest are on this page (in PDF form), which lists every word by round and how it was spelled or misspelled. Since every contestant except winner Anurag Kashyap misspelled one word, I wonder whether recording the results for posterity is entirely wise. Might it not encourage obsessive-compulsive types to pore over their failures repeatedly? And wouldn’t a disproportionate number of National Spelling Bee finalists have obsessive-compulsive tendencies, or is that just a stereotype? Time to watch Spellbound (not the Hitchcock one) for clues.
I wonder how many found the last word in the 16th round (out of 19) particularly pertinent. As if to taunt the ignorant, the results page doesn’t provide any definitions, but ‘onychophagy’ must mean “eating one’s fingernails”.