National Public Radio: All Things Considered:
May 28, 1998
RealPlayer audio file
over two days
an accident of history
to code and keep
to be loathe to = to be reluctant to
to tend to
to prove a point
Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee
work of art
part of speech
by any chance
1. What is a spelling bee? Is there a contest in Taiwan that is somewhat equivalent to this?
2. According to linguist Naomi Baron, what are some of the reasons why English spelling is often different from English pronunciation?
3. What does "to undo" mean in the context of this report?
4. Where was the winning contestant in the 1998 Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee from? How old was she?
5. List the questions the winning contestant asked about her final word before she spelled it out loud. Which question apparently went unanswered?
6. What do you notice about the vowels [eɪ] and [oʊ] as pronounced by the winning contestant?