Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Boo "Be"

Welcome to the 2014 When Write Is Wrong National Spelling Bee.

Your first-round word is bee.

Do I have to spell it out for you?
Yes, I thought that was clear.

May I have the language of origin, please?
A bee originates as an egg in a nest or hive. Oh, wrong bee, wrong origin! Bee is possibly from an Old English word bēn, meaning prayer, or the Modern English word boon, meaning benefit or favor.

May I have the definition, please?
You’re in luck. I’ve got a dictionary on me. A bee is a gathering of people for a specific purpose.

Are there any alternate pronunciations?

Can you use it in a sentence?
Sure. Bee is a word. What? Not helpful? Try this sentence: She planned to have lunch before attending the quilting bee.

Bee. B-E-E. Bee.

In February, after four hours and 66 rounds, a Kansas City spelling bee was postponed when 11- and 13-year-old competitors exhausted all the words on the prepared list.

Organizers created a new set of approved words, and the regional bee resumed the following month. Twenty-nine rounds into the buzz-worthy competition, the 13-year-old, a seventh-grader, advanced to the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee, which takes place today and tomorrow in Washington, D.C., by correctly spelling definition.*

In its coverage of the bee that lasted a spell, Fox & Friends, an early-morning show on Fox News, committed the ironic faux pas shown below.


Misspelling a three-letter word? Ouch. Be stings.

Before any Liberals jump at the chance to bash Fox News for its buzz cut, note that this bumbled bee colonized less than a week after the president, at a “Women of Soul” concert in the White House, misspelled respect during a tribute to Aretha Franklin.

“When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her…” Obama said, stumbling on the spelling of the Queen of Soul’s 1967 female empowerment hit, much to the audience’s, ahem, bee-musement.

Dropping an e, it turns out, crosses political parties.

* I can’t recall my seventh-grade days with much clarity, but spelling definition seems a bit … easy, no? What words did the contestants have to spell in the early rounds? Hat? Try? Word? Free?

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