Friday, March 13, 2009

Thank God for spell check

I have to admit, I’m not much of a speller.

In this age of technology, I usually let the spell check clean up after my sloppiness.

That is why I was a bit envious of the three participants in the Area V Tri-County Spelling Bee Thursday morning at Kirtland Public Library.

The three students, Carly Nelson, Michael Girbino and Nick Hiltz, probably never typed on a computer WITHOUT spell check, which makes their spelling capabilities all that more impressive.

It’s not just spelling they are good at, but connecting the origin of the word to comprehend the spelling of the word was admirable.

Out of 93 words in the competition, only two words were mispelled.

Nick misspelled “caustic” in round 30 and Michael, a three-time Tri-County Spelling Bee winner, misspelled “defalcator” in round 31.

Hey, I didn’t even know what defalcator meant, much less know how to spell it and I’m about nine years older than Michael. (He probably edges me in the maturity category however).

Speaking of Michael, he is a class-act.

He could have walked in that spelling bee with a huge ego after competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. for three straight years but he took the loss like a true professional.

He was the first one out of his seat to congratulate Carly and told her if she needed any advice for the national competition he was a phone call away.

All three competitors should be commended for putting on such a show.

I think everyone at the News-Herald who were involved with the competition expected it to last no more than 30 minutes.

It was more than 90.

All three lasted until at least the 30th round.

My head almost fell off after the ninth round thinking to myself, I would have been long gone by now.

-Nick Carrabine


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