Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Can you spell this word? (Or even pronounce it?) "Humuhumunukunukuapuaa" is of Hawaiian derivation and is the name of a small triggerfish. And it just happens to be one of the favorite words of spellers currently competing in the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Yes--this is the week in which 293 eager spellers are converging on Washington, D.C. for the most prestigious of all bees. No one from Urbana-Champaign made the cut this year, but Central Illinois is well-represented. You can watch the survivors vie live on television. ABC is carrying the finals at 7:00 p.m. CDT this Thursday, May 28, 2009.

If you want to find out more about the Scripps bee in particular, visit the Scripps official web site. Here you can find a list of past winning words (2008's was "guerdon", meaning a "reward", or "recompense", according to the Bee's official dictionary--Webster's Third New International Dictionary, 2002 ed.). You can also test yourself to see how well you spell.

Want more a more in-depth spelling fix? Check out some of these great spelling bee resources available in The Urbana Free Library Adult Department's collection.


Akeelah And The Bee
Akeelah Anderson, the 11 year old heroine from South Los Angeles, has a gift for words and with the help of her tutor and neighborhood fans overcomes her own and her mother’s resistance to spelling bee stardom. (2006; widescreen)

Bee Season
Family dynamics change as young Eliza demonstates an amazing gift for spelling any word she hears. (2006)

This charming documentary follows the preparation and spelling performances of eight young hopefuls competing for the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee crown. (2002)
DVD / 372.632 / SPE


American Bee: The National Spelling Bee And The Culture Of Nerd Words: The Lives Of Five Top Spellers As They Compete For Glory and Fame
James Maguire, 2006
372.632 / MAG

How To Spell Like A Champ
Barrie Trinkle, Caroline Andrews, Paige Kimble, 2006
372.632 / TRI

The Art Of Spelling: The Madness And The Method
Marilyn vos Savant, 2000
421.52 / VOS

The Terrible Speller: A Quick-And-Easy Guide To Enhancing Your Spelling AbilityWilliam Proctor, 1993
428.1 / PRO

1 comment:

Mary wt said...

Kayva Shivashanka of Olathe, Kansas, won the 2009 Scripps bee by spelling correctly the word "Laodicean".

Aishwarya Pastapur of Springfield, IL, was a runner-up.