Credit: O.KIRK, on panoramio.com
A foulard cerise gladiolus.
Asceticism and deteriorating luxuriance.
Am I stretching my writing wings, trying out a bit of poetry? Not really. The last line probably tells you that something different is going on.
Fourteen-year-old Snigdha Nandipati, from San Diego, won the National Spelling Bee championship yesterday with the word guetapens (a French-derived word meaning... well, you'll have to look it up yourself--I've already forgotten). Congratulations to Snigdha!
Over the previous nine years, these were the words spelled correctly to win the contest:
For contrast, my "poem" is constructed of eight of the winning words (minus "a" and "and") from the first ten years of the National Spelling Bee contest, which started in 1925. The two remaining words are fracas and knack; these would have fit awkwardly at best with the others. I can spell all of these words, and I know what they mean.
And if I'd been in a spelling bee in the 1970s, when I was 14, I might have stood a chance with words like cambist, deification, maculature, elucubrate, sarcophagus, psoriasis, Purim, luge, and milieu. Mostly reasonable.
But today? Holy meconium.