Oregon Senior Spelling Bee II
Bill Long 4/12/08
Written Words 26-100
Words 26-50 of the written test were as follows:
I also missed two words from this list: awn and escarole. I spelled the first "aun" and the second "escarolle." This list indicates a pattern that I picked up rather early in the bee--the adjectives and verbs are rather easy, while the nouns tend to be difficult or comparatively rare. One other observation is of interest. Oregon is an "unchurched" state, and usually there are few theological or ecclesiastical terms, even though there are literally hundreds of these which could make your head spin. Resurrect, a straighforward term, is one of the few that fits this category.
Tufa is a generic name for porous stones, formed of pulverulent matter consolidated and often stratified. The adjectival form is tufaceous, though the OED also lists tuffaceous as an acceptable spelling. Hussar is derived from a Hungarian word (huszar) which originally meant "freebooter" and in the 15th century "light horseman," in which application it became known in Western European langauges.
The prounouncer told us that awn frequently appears in crossword puzzles, which would have been helpful to me if I did them but I don't. So, I learned it was a "delicate spinous process or "beard" that terminates the grain-sheath of barley, oats and other grasses." I guess I spelled it as the son of Jorund and one of the Swedish kinds of the House of Yngling, the ancestors of Norway's first king, Harald Fairhair. Of course, that is precisely what I thought I was doing!
I am sure I thought that escarole was formed similarly to barcarolle but of course, I was mistaken. As punishment for misspelling the term, I will look at this picture of escarole frequently, and pledge myself to read a Vegan cookbook before the end of the year. Escarole is an endive that makes a good ingredient for a salad--ah, another food term.
Good thing that the dictionary says that muumuu is the right spelling for a loose-fitting dress introduced by missionaries to Hawaii, no doubt to conceal body shape of the woman. Why? Because only one of the examples given by the OED of its use since 1960 spells the word muumuu. Other spellings are umuu and moomoo.
Here are the next 25 words:
The consensus of most of the spellers was that this was the most difficult list of 25 words in the written test. But, not for me. I only missed arras, and I shouldn't have missed it. I am working on the word arriswise for another essay, and I failed to recall that arris, rather than arras, is an angled or edged stone or piece of wood. That would have left me to conclude that arras was the tapestry, most famously the tapestry in Hamlet behind which shenanigans happen. So, knowing too much hurt me at this point.
I have written on cockalorum, a great word to describe a little strutter, as well as lenitive. There is a "rule of lenity" in criminal law by which a person is not convicted of a crime if the language of the statute is vague or overbroad; the criminal law wants to make sure that the language of the law communicates precisely what illegal conduct is.
Canaille (cah NAY or ca NAL) is a tricky word, originally meaning a pack of dogs but later meaning "the lowest orders of the people collectively; the rabble." Apercu, an outline or a "first glance," is a great word, and it joins the ever-growing list of French-derived terms in this bee. Finally, I guessed on bidi, and got it right. It is also spelled beedi, as well as many other ways, but bidis are "small hand-rolled cigarettes manufactured in India and other southeast Asian countries." They are made of tobacco wrapped in tendu or temburni leaf (two other words that some future generation of spellers will have to know..).
I erred on triolet, spelling it triolette. As is often the case with spellers, I originally spelled the word correctly and then changed it. Why is a certain kind of poem of eight lines called a triolet? because its first line is repeated as the fourth and second. Never will forget that one. I chuckled at hookah, which was tested at the 2007 National Senior Bee, and which I spelled hooka in that contest. You really can learn to spell. I saw the word plie just last night as I was watching the movie Moliere. Mr Jordain's dance instructor was trying to get him to dance one... Oneiric seemed to give people a lot of trouble, but because I studied ancient Greek and was quite interested in the role of dream interpretation in ancient religion, the word oneiric was as easy as an nursery rhyme for a preschool teacher. Coulomb tripped up many, too, because it is named after yet another French guy, and judder wasn't familiar to most, though almost all of us sounded it out correctly.
At the end of the written rounds, I was tied for first with Linda Goertz. The oral rounds would separate us. The next essay gives you the words for the oral rounds.