Today, my usual Canadian pride is bursting at the seams! What an exciting match on ABC last night as for the first time ever, the International Spelling Bee was televised on network TV. It was rife with stupid commentary (as only the Americans can...), controversy, humor and cliff hanging moments. Not to mention educational for those of us who haven't studied 98% - 100% of the dictionary.
Finola Hackett, a 14-year-old eighth grader from Tofield, Alta., took the $12,000 US second prize Thursday in the competition, worth more than $40,000 US for winner Katherine Close, from Ashbury Park, N.J.
Hackett was poised, her hands clasped in front of her, as she nailed several tough words to make it that far in the final two hours of the two-day annual spell-fest. She easily spelled out knaidel, a dumpling, and formenkreis, a group of related species. She even got dasyphyllous, meaning with downy leaves.
But Hackett, who began in a field of 274 competitors, finally got stumped on weltschmerz, a mental depression, and gave the spelling as veltschmerz. Frustrated the hell out of me because her Dad is German and she asked for the origin of the word. W's are pronounced with a V! Regardless, she's a proud girl and I'm a proud Canadian.
"I'm really proud of what I did for Canada," the teary youngster said after congratulating the winner on stage.