“Feuilleton” and “Stichomythia” – Winning Words!

At the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee that ended last night, this young man, who did not win, was my personal favorite:

Jacob Daniel Williamson, of

Bonita Springs, FL

I think Jacob turned out to be a lot of people’s favorite, too. He finally misspelled “kabarogoya” (a large aquatic lizard). He was funny, so funny, and spontaneous and real. But there was so much more.

Now this morning, when I checked the news to see who the winner was, I first turned on my morning sports show with three jocks behind the radio microphones, and when they started joking around about the Spelling Bee and, in particular, “that Jacob character,” I had a bad feeling. I’d seen Jacob for a little bit in the evening while going back and forth between baseball and the Bee, and I had just loved him and had hoped he’d win. I saw that he was eliminated before I went to bed. But this trio of radio/TV personalities were beyond crude and rude. To this bunch of hormone-overloaded guys, Jacob was the “nerd,” home-schooled like many of the contestants in this contest are, and they couldn’t understand that concept either. “What do these nerds do all day at home school? Spell? Do they have gym or anything?”

It went on and on and I had to turn off that channel, they disgusted me. Shame on them!

But I digress. These two amazing young men won in a TIE!

Ansun Sujoe, Ft.Worth, TX, and Sriram Hathway, of Painted Post, NY

Ansun spelled “feuilleton” and Siriam spelled “stichomythia” correctly, and for the first time since 1962, they just flat ran out of words and had to declare the Spelling Bee a tie!

Congratuations to Ansun and Sriram both for an amazing accomplishment.

And just for the record, although I don’t know what it is that Jacob actually has that makes his body look different, i.e. affecting his spine and hands, whatever it is, I think it’s the same thing that actor Bill Nighy has (Dupuytren’s contracture) where one of his hands is contracted into a claw-like position, his right hand, I believe, and Jacob seems to have the same thing. I’m thinking it’s a muscular ailment of some sort. He also seems to have scoliosis of the spine. But whatever this brilliant boy has going on in his young body, to make jokes about him and laugh at him and act like total idiots in front of all their viewers like they did on the sports show this morning was just plain WRONG! In so many ways! They have lost me as a viewer.

CNN anchors on TV were a bit less cruel when they interviewed the co-champions this morning, but the jokes started coming out of even their mouths, the two men more so than the one woman. One host even asked if the two champions just felt like they HAD to know which one was BETTER and were they going to go find a dark alley somewhere and duke it out until a real winner was named?


Both young men had sensible, intelligent, rational answers to that, saying they didn’t need to do that. What they have learned from this experience, including the vocabulary portion of the Bee which is a big part of it now, and all the languages involved, not just the spelling part, will see them well into their lives, whether it be medicine, the law, science, or whatever they do with their lives… they will be much better prepared for a successful and intelligent life now.

Wow. Good answer. Good come-back. And shame on these TV hosts for being such idiots!

There was one boy in the Bee from our home town of Marblehead, too, but he wasn’t in the finals. Not sure where he misspelled a word, but here’s a shout-out to

Mitchell Robson, Marblehead, MA

And contratulations to all the youngsters in this competition. As a spelling fanatic myself (although I’m not even in the same universe/league with these kids!), this has always been one of the best events of the year to me.

Cheers to all the young people who take their lives seriously enough to work hard and prepare for a life worth living!

Bex & Co.

P.S. BTW, I didn’t want to muddle up the subject matter here, but last night our Red Sox baseball team won their 4th game in a row! We are no longer in last place! Go Sox!

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6 Responses to “Feuilleton” and “Stichomythia” – Winning Words!

  1. TopsyTurvy says:

    Our doctor believes DH has the early stages of Dupuytrens Contracture. Right now he just has depressions on his palms below the fingers next to his little fingers but they often feel tight and cause him some trouble with opening and closing his hands. Doctor says DH will eventually need surgery to loosen the tendons.


  2. Eric Mayer says:

    It’s unfortunate how our culture glorifies ignorance. Heck, look at our politicians. At one time I figured they were all pretending to be ignorant to appeal to the sort of idiots those radio jocks were trying to appeal to but now, I suspect, a lot of them really are dumb as posts.

    Anyone who can spell at all amazes me. I am a terrible speller. Thank goodness for computers and spell checkers!


  3. sandy freel says:

    SHAME on them reporters…I hope karma comes back and kicks their butts.
    WOW…those words were huge…I am a very bad speller…even spell check cant always understand them.


  4. Bex says:

    You are both right! I should just ignore them. I listen to that show to get a lot of inside info on baseball mainly. But they always, always, always go off on a machismo tangent that shows their true colors, and after today’s showing of their ignorance, I am done with that show!

    As for the CNN show, I can’t give that station up. It drives me nuts a lot of the time but it’s the main station to watch in a crisis so I keep at it. I am thankful I have the Tennis Channel to keep me occupied most days! Not to mention a gazillion books that need to be read, dogs who want attention, husband chores to be accomplished, furs that need to be sucked up, etc. etc.


  5. Bonnie says:

    Harriet has it correctly about the talking heads. Can’t remember the jerk that said all San Antonio women were fat. Guess he doesn’t notice the men that are fat.


  6. l'empress says:

    Don’t pay any attention to the pseudo-journalists who talk on sports shows. They are far more interested in their own statements than anything of merit. I might forgive them if they told us the scores of last night’s game once in a while, but evidently that’s not their job.


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