Total Pageviews

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Writer's Life 6/2 - Spellbound

Here are 20 words finalists spelled correctly to win the national contest. They were compiled by Stacy Conradt at, edited by yours truly, my comments in parentheses:
1925: GLADIOLUS - notable not for its complexity but because it was the first-ever winning word.
1928: ALBUMEN - the white part of an egg.
1937: PROMISCUOUS - Did an eight-year-old ask the judge to use it in a sentence? (First three are surprisingly easy.)
1955: CRUSTACEOLOGY - the study of crustaceans. (Doubt I would have gotten this one right.)
1958: SYLLEPSIS - a figure of speech in which one word simultaneously modifies two or more other words such that the modification must be understood differently with respect to each modified word.” Examples: Dorothy Parker: “It’s a small apartment. I've barely enough room to lay my hat and a few friends.” The Rolling Stones’ Honky Tonk Woman: “She blew my nose and then she blew my mind.” (Don't recall having heard of it previously.)
1961: SMARAGDINE - 0f or pertaining to emeralds, or having the color of emeralds. (Another first for me.)
1962: ESQUAMULOSE - not covered in scales or scale-like objects; smooth-skinned. (Starting to feel dumb.)
1979: MACULATURE - paper waste and printed materials not intended for reading, aka junk mail. (Four makes four straight unfamiliar to me.)
1980: ELUCUBRATE - to produce by long and intensive effort, especially in reference to literary work. (That makes five.)
1986: ODONTALGIA - toothache. (Had the general idea.)
1994: ANTEDILUVIAN - ancient, antiquated or supremely dated. (Ditto above.)
1996: VIVISEPULTURE - the act of burying someone alive. (No clue.)
1997: EUONYM - a name well suited to a person, place or thing. (Another first for me.)
1998: CHIAROSCURIST: chiaroscuro is a style of monochromatic shading used in art. (Heard this in college Arts course.)
2001: SUCCEDANEUM - substitute or replacement for something else, especially in reference to medicine. (First.)
2002: PROSPICIENCE - foresight. (Fairly obvious but doubt I would have spelled it correctly.)
2003: POCOCURANTE - apathetic or indifferent. (Another first.)
2006: URSPRACHE - hypothetically reconstructed parent language. (Huh?)
2012: GUETAPENS - an ambush or trap. (Can understand why its no longer used outside a spelling bee.)
2013: KNAIDEL - dumpling that's often eaten during Passover. Yiddish experts say it should be spelled "kneydl." (I could go for one right now.)

Many are saying coal is a dying industry. I finally had the wherewithal to check the stats. According to, in 2016 Natural gas was the source of about 34% of U.S. electricity generation. Coal was the second-largest, about 30%. Nuclear power 20%. Hydropower 7%. Wind power 6%. Solar 1%. Geothermal less than 1%. I'm no expert, but these numbers seem to indicate it's way too soon to begin phasing out the coal industry.

My thanks to the kind folks who made purchases today at the floating book shop. Nine of the eleven were of works in Russian.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
Vic's Short Works:

No comments:

Post a Comment