Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Monday, June 1, 2015

This Does Not Hold Me Spellbound (RUU)

News Item: The 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee ends in a tie

Are we really supposed to pretend to be interested in this?  This is a competition for nerds with no athletic ability whatsoever.  Is it really a “competition” at all since there is no ball used whatsoever?

This year was particularly unspectacular as Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam, spelled like maniacs until they had exhausted the championship word list.  That’s right; the dictionary ran out of words before they made an error.

And talk about boring. This is as boring as women’s basketball.  Nerd after nerd, spelling word after stupid word.  To spice things up they should let the other contestants pelt the speller with dodgeballs if he or she misspells the word.

This wrinkle would add more pressure to the contest and make it much more enjoyable to watch.  It would also prepare them for real life like when you have to make a PowerPoint presentation in front of a room of bastard executives just waiting for you to make a mistake before they pounce.

Another issue is fairness and you must admit Shivashankar and  Venkatachalam have an unfair advantage and we all know what it is:  Their names are too long.  And they have had to spell these humongous names correctly thousands of time over their lives. If you have had that much practice spelling hard words, it’s no surprise you can beat the dictionary.  I propose that no person be allowed to compete in next year’s bee if their name scores more than 50 points on a scrabble board.

And the words used in this bee are horrendous.  The last words spelled by the winners were:

Scherenschnitte - The art of cutting paper into decorative designs

Nunatak - A hill or mountain completely surrounded by glacial ice

These are completely bogus words.  You would never use scherenschnitte because you can’t pronounce it and nobody knows what it means if you did.  And everyone knows the real definition of nunatak is a riot at the convent.  The contestant from my region got eliminated by xenodochium — a medieval house for the care of the
Squirrel scherenschnitte
poor.  The word hasn’t been used for centuries and let’s face it; it’s never coming back in vogue.

To force these kids to memorize thousands of irrelevant, useless, words constitutes child abuse.  This is a huge waste of effort. The time would be much better spent doing something useful such as playing video games or talking on your cell phone.  Or
Where nuns attack!
you could use the time to practice in order to achieve something really significant – scoring a touchdown. And gud spellin is vastlie uvarated, dun't ya knu?

Well I’m out of time, I’m working on a scherenschnitte of a xenodochium which sits next to a nunatak. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, - nunatak!  

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