Please note: “No” in the headline was spelled wrong on purpose.

Oh to be a spelling bee/Ryn Gargulinski

Oh to be a spelling bee/Ryn Gargulinski

Regardless of how advanced or reliant on computers our society may get, some fundamental skills will always matter.

These include chopping onions, standing on our heads and knowing how to spell.

Four kids in Marana proved they could master the latter by nabbing the top slots in the recent Marana Unified School District’s spelling bee.

First place went to Alec Kuehnle of Tortolita Middle School, followed by Tortolita’s John Reynolds in second place and Marana Middle School’s Will Rochester and Hayden Price in third and forth, respectively, as announced in a news release.

Kuehnle may have had an advantage because of his last name. Wonder how many times he’s correcting that spelling.

These four will go on to the Pima County Spelling Bee on Feb. 13 at Berger Performing Arts Center at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind campus.

The Marana bee’s winning word was “summoned,” which at least the Kuehnle got right. The other three just better hope they never get a letter that tells them to go to court.

Spelling bees are helpful, fun and, at the very least, make sure you will forever remember how to spell the word that got you kicked out of the contest.

My word was “mannequin.”

Spelling bees could have also helped correct spelling errors we see around town.

One that comes immediately to mind is a sign at the Home Depot on Broadway that warns large vehicles not to hang around out front.


Ooops/Ryn Gargulinski

The sign reads: No Truck Idiling Allowed.

On at least one of the signs, someone tried to paint over the incorrect middle “I.”

Misspelling things can make us look like idiots, not to mention forever ingraining themselves in our brains.

One of my friends recalled the perfect spelling test he turned in back in elementary school. Every word on his test had its letters in perfect order. Except he wrote at the top of the paper: Sepling Test. He did not get 100.

A college professor, a native of India, was giving us the lowdown on the Middle Ages. He wrote on the board: Mideval Period.

At least he quickly realized his mistake and asked the class to help him. We have to give some leeway to those who speak English as a second language – and to Chinese restaurant menus – as our fair lingo is full of strange letter combinations and homonyms.

Why isn’t “phone” spelled as “fone?” And what’s with the silent “w” in front of wrong, wry and wrist?

Homonyms provide their own set of spelling problems.

The band was banned from the party and the bard was barred from the band.

Sure, we have spell check, texting slang and emoticons can that can portray a whole paragraph without needing to spell a word, but we should not let spelling go out the window.

After awl, even spell cheque kin steel get things wrong.


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Have you ever been in a spelling bee? Did you win?

What words always give you spelling problems?

Have you seen horrible misspellings around town? Where?