Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Thursday Thirteen 204: Spelling Bee


The Scripps National Spelling Bee takes place this week in Washington, DC, with 275 young spellers competing. I'm extremely disappointed I won't get to watch the finals this year, which have been moved to cable. Grrr... For those who are able to watch, here are a few words to get you in the mood...

01. incommodious [in-kuh-MOH-dee-uhs], adjective: Inconvenient, as not affording sufficient space or room; uncomfortable

Some poets have seen death's offer in many forms and accepted the outcome but ignored incommodious invitations.
-- Lesley Choyce, Dance the Rocks Ashore

02. autodidact [aw-toh-DY-dakt] noun: One who is self-taught.

He is our ultimate autodidact, a man who made himself from nothing into a lawyer, a legislator—a president.
--Kevin Baker, "Log Cabin Values", New York Times, April 2, 2000

03. irenic [eye-REN-ik; -REE-nik], adjective: Tending to promote peace; conciliatory.

While this left him at odds with older ecclesiastics of a more irenic disposition such as Archbishop Murray of Dublin (1768- 1852), he found an ally in John Mchale (1791-1881).
--W. J. McCormack, Patrick Gillan, The Blackwell Companion to Modern Irish Culture

04. wistful [WIST-ful] adjective:
1: full of yearning or desire tinged with melancholy; also: inspiring such yearning
2: musingly sad: pensive

"So,” said Wood, at long last, jerking Harry from a wistful fantasy about what he could be eating for breakfast at this very moment up at the castle.
-- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

05. philippic [fi-lip-ik] noun: any speech or discourse of bitter denunciation.

I pulled at his sleeve, and we were followed up the sidewalk by a philippic on our family’s moral degeneration...
--Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

06. irascible [ih-RASS-uh-buhl] adjective: Prone to anger; easily provoked to anger; hot-tempered.

His father was an irascible and boastful bully, a heavy drinker and a gambler.
--Robin Waterfield, Prophet: The Life and Times of Kahlil Gibran

07. interdict [n. in-ter-dikt; v. in-ter-dikt] noun: any prohibitory act or decree of a court or an administrative officer.
–verb (used with object): to forbid; prohibit.

What Jem did was something I’d do as a matter of course had I not been under Atticus’s interdict, which I assumed included not fighting horrible old ladies.
--Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

08. oppugn [uh-PYOON], verb:
1. To assail by criticism, argument, or action.
2. To call in question; dispute.

I do not wish to oppugn the character of Miss Goodrich by bearing false witness in regard to her activities.
--Jeffrey D. Marshall, The Inquest

09. rectitude [rek-ti-tood, -tyood] noun: rightness of principle or conduct; moral virtue

In later years, I sometimes wondered exactly what made Jem do it, what made him break the bonds of “You just be a gentleman, son,” and the phase of self-conscious rectitude he had recently entered.
--Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

10. deleterious [del-uh-TEER-ee-us] adjective: harmful often in a subtle or unexpected way

Marguerite is convinced that violent television programs will have a deleterious effect on her children, so she carefully monitors what they watch.

11. vociferate \voh-SIF-uh-reyt\, verb:
To speak or cry out loudly or noisily; shout; bawl.

He replied audibly enough, in a fashion which made my companion vociferate, more clamorously than before, that a wide distinction might be drawn between saints like himself and sinners like his master.
--Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

12. nonplus [non-PLUHS], transitive verb: To cause to be at a loss as to what to think, say, or do; to confound; to perplex; to bewilder.

I told him that to many people she is one of the best sculptors alive, but he seemed nonplussed by the thought.
--Jed Perl, Eyewitness: Reports from an Art World in Crisis

13. epigamic [ep-i-GAM-ik], adjective: Attracting the opposite sex, as the colors of certain birds.

But now the epigamic urgings travel beyond their periphery, kneading painfully against my heart and lungs and brain.
--Jim Thompson , Now and on Earth

Watch the Scripps National Spelling Bee
Semi-finals: Thursday, June 2; ESPN, 10am EDT
Finals: Thursday June 2; ESPN, 8:30pm EDT

LINKS TO OTHER THURSDAY THIRTEENS:(Please leave your link if this is your first visit!)


CountryDew said...

Cool words. When I was in the fifth grade, I was a classroom champ, but fell out on the word "haunted" during the school competition. I knew the word and kicked myself for days for missing it. I was nervous in front of a crowd, though, and couldn't think. After that I never tried again. That was also a really long time ago!

Darla M Sands said...

Great list! Sorry you won't get to watch. I suppose they won't exactly air this at any sports bars. Perhaps you could ask, though! :)

Jana said...

The deleterious speller in me just vociferated. Philippicly. You're gonna hafta clean that up. ;-)

Heather said...

Anita: My downfall was "blossom," in the 7th grade. And, like you, I was kicking myself for missing a word I knew. Nerves will get you every time...

Darla: Yeah, I don't see that going over so well, unless we can turn it into a drinking game. ;)

Jane: Some days you just crack me up. Seriously. LOL

Alice Audrey said...

I'm thinking most of these I'll never actually need to know how to spell. Good thing, considering my spelling prowess.

Heather said...

Alice: Never say never. ;)

Kwee Lewis said...

I love your list. And I'm so glad I am not in the spelling bee. I love words and am always telling my son to choose his carefully as each has its own meaning and nuance. A really neat list - thank you :-)

Heather said...

Kwee: As you've probably guessed, I love words as well. Thanks for visiting!

Maddy Barone said...

Excellent! I knew some of those, but not all, and I probably couldnt' have spelled half of them.

Xakara said...

Ah the spelling bee. Sorry you won't be able to watch it. Maybe it'll be on their website?

Happy TT,


13 Paragraphs K. Troutte

Suzanna said...

I find it amazing how well some of these young people spell! When I was a kid I knew none of these words, let alone knew how to spell them! (My parents were immigrants.)

Ron. said...

I can spell anything. Anything. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G Anything.

I love watching the finals. My beloved Sandra thinks I'm daft.

Heather said...

Maddy: Glad you liked the challenge my list presented this week. *g*

Xakara: Wouldn't matter if it were on the web; I can't watch videos or online programming from my home computer. Some days I'm lucky to be able to get online at all, the wiring in this building sucks that bad.

Heather said...

Suzanna: Sorry, you don't get to use the immigrant card here, as English is a second and sometimes even third language to many of the Bee's participants. ;)

Ron: Spelling geeks unite! I've loved watching the finals the last couple years when they were on ABC, and wish that basketball had not booted them over to cable, which I have not had for a year and a half now. And wouldn't you know--ESPN was one of the stations I missed most this past fall/winter. Sniff...

Skylar Kade said...

best. post. ever! (I'm such a word whore. Or logophile, if you're being picky)

Heather said...

Thanks, Skylar! *VBG*

Paige Tyler said...

Great TT! Though I love spelling bees, I always think it's so funny that it's on ESPN! LOL!


My TT is at

Heather said...

Yes, well, they also carry poker games, so there you go. LOL