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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC area

    Scripps Spelling Bee

    Tied again this year, even after adding 25 more rounds.

    But the best part was one of the winning (tying?) words was Feldenkrais!

    When they reached the final round where one could have beaten the other, neither showed a shred of weakness. Jairam nailed “Feldenkrais,” then Nihar slammed it home with “gesellschaft.”
    Vive le Greybeard!

    -jk

  2. #2
    I work with a guy who is a past national champ (from a generation or two ago, before it became so big). This year, the daughter of one of my very best friends growing up competed in the national bee, and apparently was featured last night on espn in one of the cut-aways to commercial for a good reaction she had from an earlier round (I didn't see it). Last year, my daughter made the final two in the regional bee with a spot in the national bee on the line, but came up just short (to a kid who said he studied 3-4 hours/night). Me? I still recall spelling "calendar" c-a-l-e-n-d-e-r in the elementary school classroom bee.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Should "Feldenkrais" even be allowed to be a word in the spelling bee? It's a trademark derived from a surname that was created to be a source identifier rather than a generic term in the public domain. It's no different than, for instance, "McNuggets", "Viagra," or "Microsoft," which are all invented terms intended to identify specific products or services and, like "Feldenkrais," do not have a real definition. They are brands, not words.
    Rich
    "Failure is Not a Destination"
    Coach K on the Dan Patrick Show, December 22, 2016

  4. #4
    I watched in fascination last night as these two kids dueled into the night.

    But allow me to offer a conspiracy theory here. I believe that Nihar Janga intentionally manipulated the results to end in a tie with Jairam Hathwar.

    The 11-year-old from Texas was nicknamed "The Machine" and you could see why. He never struggled or wrestled with a word, Often when he heard a bizarre or obscure word, he would provide the definition -- he knew that “taoiseach” was a Gaelic term for an Irish prime minister, but the one that blew me away was that he knew that "biniou" was the word for a type of Breton bagpipes.

    He WAS a machine, except ...

    Twice in the championship round, Jairam Hathwar missed words, meaning that Nihar could win the contest by spelling the next word correctly.

    And both times, The Machine misspelled his next word. That meant the contest went on.

    I believe he wanted to share the title with Jairam. You could see the two kids cheering for each other.

    I was also interested in how dominant Indian-American kids were (that's India Indians, not American Indians). The last three contestants and five of the last six were Indian-Americans.

    Also: talk about unfair words ... I was waiting for this Welsh place name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio gogogoch

    Finally, to get fired up for last night's match, I went back and watched the Cheap Seats episode on the 1997 Bee -- the one that gave up Rebecca Sealfon and her magic fingers. If you have 45 minutes or so, this is one of the funniest things ever on TV:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFZMFYMdGXA

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympic Fan View Post
    I watched in fascination last night as these two kids dueled into the night.

    But allow me to offer a conspiracy theory here. I believe that Nihar Janga intentionally manipulated the results to end in a tie with Jairam Hathwar.
    I had the exact same thoughts. It's very possible they agreed to tie and that Jairam was just the one who missed (twice).

    It seemed very strange when Nihar missed the words to be the sole winner.

    Either way... they were both very impressive. Nihar especially, who often provided the definition himself (for words not only have I never heard of... I doubt I know anyone who has heard them).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by InSpades View Post
    I had the exact same thoughts. It's very possible they agreed to tie and that Jairam was just the one who missed (twice).

    It seemed very strange when Nihar missed the words to be the sole winner.

    Either way... they were both very impressive. Nihar especially, who often provided the definition himself (for words not only have I never heard of... I doubt I know anyone who has heard them).
    Like Bart and the Flanders kid in mini-golf?

  7. #7
    Nihar denied missing on purpose:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/enter...dae_story.html

    Maybe Kiki Vandeweghe can tell us what he thinks about Nihar's intent? Or isn't there some facial recognition software that can detect muscle movements and give us insight -- sort of like how folks broke down Roger Clemens licking his lips when testifying to Congress? Maybe put the final two spellers each in his own cone of silence, so they don't know whether a word has been mis-spelled?

  8. #8
    They have competitive leagues in some places in the US. (Indian-Americans)

    I'm probably being petty in another thread.

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