Thursday, June 01, 2006

The National Spelling Bee

Somewhat entertaining, but pretty stupid on the whole. Who cares if some kids can spell these impossibly obscure words? They are useless in conversation, articles, novels, blogs, or anything else that involves interaction among a group of people larger than a child and his obsessive parents (a great proportion of participants are home-schooled). I happen to think that correct spelling is an important skill and I pride myself on bring very good at spelling. And even that mentality is admittedly somewhat irrational (because as long as your spelling is close, people generally understand what you are extreme case of this is addressed in the widely-known study discussed here).

The silliest thing to me about the whole thing is that the participants obviously all have excellent memories and are probably very smart. So to waste their talents on learning all these useless words is a terrible idea. Maybe instead of figuring out how to spell an obscure form of cancer, one of these bright children can work to eventually find a cure for it. (End of preachiness)

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