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The Big Game.

These Spelling Bee Champions Can Teach Us an Important Lesson About Race in America "In the past few years, the 89-year-old competition has seen a striking pattern in which Indian-American contestants have lifted the winner's trophy eight consecutive times and in 13 of the past 17 outings. Their streak feeds into years of conversation around race, achievement and immigrant success — all tied to problematic notions of what it means to be "American."
posted by sweetkid on Jun 2, 2014 - 70 comments

How well can you spell?

How well can you spell? is a spelling challenge from the Washington Post. Just click on the misspelled words. [more inside]
posted by zardoz on May 30, 2014 - 112 comments

Bee '14

Tomorrow morning 281spellers will begin to compete for the title of 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion, and starting Wednesday, you can play along. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 26, 2014 - 29 comments

An Elegant Weapon For A Less Civilized Age

They were the finest European swords the day, superior to almost any other on the battlefields of the Viking Age. Made from steel no one in Europe would know how to make until the Industrial Revolution. Stronger, more flexible, almost magical in combat, engraved with the mysterious name "+ULFBERH+T" by unknown makers, these swords were the both fearsome weapons and incredibly expensive prestige possessions. Only 171 have every been identified. And no one had made one from start to finish, using only hand tools, for over 900 years. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Mar 6, 2013 - 38 comments

Literally?

"10 Words You Literally Didn’t Know You Were Getting Wrong" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 19, 2012 - 154 comments

Enough with the ad homonyms

Literacy Privilege: How I Learned to Check Mine Instead of Making Fun of People’s Grammar on the Internet. Also Part 2 and Part 3.
posted by divabat on Dec 12, 2012 - 130 comments

It's Linguistastic! Or Linguistalicious!

Arika Okrent (previously here on sign language interpreters and her 352-page book about 'Invented Languages') is currently kicking ass and taking etymologies at the Mental Floss site with a flurry of listicles* on the 'invention' of today's English/American language:
The solidly informational "11 Weirdly Spelled Words—And How They Got That Way"**
The entertainingly snarky "11 Creative Suffixes That Inspire New Words"
The just plain fun "From Y’all To Youse, 8 English Ways to Make “You” Plural"
plus one non-linguistic piece of pure pedantry: "11 Movie Chess Scenes Where The Board Is Set Up Wrong"*** [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Nov 16, 2012 - 52 comments

EYYyyyWWWww

Sound-Word Index — Emotions and their sound can invade our digital messages. Our words become flexible and vibrate according to the volume of our voices, transforming their written form into an expressive and resonating language. Without the help of body language, words can sometimes fall short in our digital conversations. However, sound, volume and rhythm can influence the spelling of our words, helping to translate our emotions hidden behind our screens.
posted by netbros on Jun 25, 2012 - 1 comment

As she is spoked

The myth of English as a global language One would have to say that English, far from being a pure maiden, looks like a woman who has appeared out of some distant fen, had more partners than Moll Flanders, learned a lot in the process, and is now running a house of negotiable affection near an international airport
posted by infini on May 26, 2012 - 76 comments

supercilious daiquiri

Who wants to be in a spelling bee? Tricky and difficult are neither, but fiendish is a way to spend too much time. It does have quite a few words adopted into English, but everyone should know how to spell burrito.
posted by freshwater on Mar 20, 2012 - 57 comments

The Fruit of Dionysuis Thrax

Best Grammar Blog of 2011 has been announced - A Clil To Climb. The competition was intense.
posted by unliteral on Oct 25, 2011 - 23 comments

The best dong in the world

The beast obnoxious responses to misspellings on Facebook
posted by MuffinMan on May 4, 2011 - 155 comments

A rheometer designed to measure the amount and speed of blood flow through an artery

Anamika Veeramani just won the national spelling bee with stromuhr, continuing a long Indian-American streak which has included such memorable spelling bee moments as the Numb What? and the Pass Out.
posted by twoleftfeet on Jun 5, 2010 - 44 comments

Open Source Language Checking Technology

After The Deadline is an open source spell/style/grammar checker from Automattic for WordPress, Firefox and other stuff. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on May 3, 2010 - 28 comments

Now bons broaken all is well all in Love

Timothy Dexter was an 18th Century American entrepreneur from Newburyport, MA who made his money in fairly baffling ways. He successfully sold coal in Newcastle and shipped stray cats and mittens to the Caribbean at a sizable profit. Self-described as "First in the East, First in the West, and the Greatest Philosopher in the Western World," he is listed in an entry in the notably hoax-filled Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography, but NPR believes that he existed. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust on Jan 31, 2010 - 16 comments

MétaFiltre!

The Canadian Government’s Translation Bureau recently made its French/English/Spanish technical terminology database, Termium, free to access after over a decade as a subscription-based service. While off-the-cuff translations are often available from free services like BabelFish, Termium focuses on technical terminology such as scientific, medical and legal terms. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd on Oct 22, 2009 - 35 comments

hi cutie ur realy sexy. msn?

How (not) to write an online-dating message, based on a sample of 500,000 "first contact" messages. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Sep 14, 2009 - 79 comments

The Misspelled Signs of New York City

"Even though my glory years of competitive spelling are long past, some things stay with a person. As I explore, I can't help but notice signs which contain spelling errors. I capture them for posterity with my handy digital camera and present them here for our collective education and entertainment." Thirty-two pages of misspelled signs in the New York metropolitan area -- each one lovingly annotated.
posted by milquetoast on Aug 11, 2009 - 50 comments

Dynasty

Coincidental to the publishing of her memoir, Candy Spelling - the widow of legendary television producer Aaron Spelling - is selling her Beverly Hills mansion for $150 million. (Daughter Tori Spelling is not expected to share in the proceeds.)
posted by Joe Beese on Mar 27, 2009 - 23 comments

Children's Letters to God? Check.

Children's Letters to God? Check. [more inside]
posted by Lacking Subtlety on Nov 18, 2008 - 55 comments

another time sink

another day, another word
posted by netbros on Oct 14, 2008 - 35 comments

That's Dum

Ed Rondthaler on english pronounciation. (Quicktime Video)
posted by blue_beetle on Sep 6, 2008 - 24 comments

I can’t believe that posting corrections to comments takes that much time away from real work.

So apostrophree corrects these kinds of errors before people see them, preventing employees from spending time posting corrections and engaging in online flame wars about English usage?
posted by blasdelf on Aug 12, 2008 - 94 comments

Scroo Grammer. Hows Yer Speling.

In honor of tonight’s Scripps National Spelling Bee final, take a stab at these spelling tests – Scripps Test, MSNBC Test. [more inside]
posted by ericb on May 30, 2008 - 39 comments

Errin' USA

Immediately, Herson spotted an offense—a second-floor awning outside a tarot shop that advertised "Energy Stone's." They climbed the stairs to the second floor and approached a middle-age women with a quizzical expression. "We happened to notice the sign for energy stones," Deck said, "and there happens to be an extra apostrophe. 'Stone's' doesn't need the apostrophe."

"And?" she asked, her voice flat with annoyance.

"And we wanted to bring it to your attention," Deck said.


A look inside the daring lives of Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson, vanguards of the Typo Eradication Advancement League.
posted by Rhaomi on May 21, 2008 - 84 comments

Get Your Red Pens Ready.

Zip up that dangling modifier--it's National Grammar Day! Let the ranting begin...
posted by laconic titan on Mar 4, 2008 - 37 comments

eBay Arctic Ale Ouchy

Man buys Allsop, relists it as Allsopp - proving that on eBay, presentation is everything. via b3ta
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Aug 31, 2007 - 38 comments

I HAVE TO KNOW THE LANGUAGE IT IS IN!

Evan M. O'Dorney, a 13-year-old speller from Danville, Calif., won the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee, with the final word "serrefine". Here is an interesting interview with the winner. Did you say my name wrong?
posted by exlotuseater on Jun 7, 2007 - 112 comments

"Where's the 'T' at?" she asked.

The caferteria had garbage an all tables. At my middle school in Staten Island, thought the dean, this cannot stand. So he sent home a letter.
posted by staggernation on May 3, 2007 - 109 comments

A CAPTCHA for Internet Access

A CAPTCHA to weed out certain potential users of the internet.
posted by exogenous on Apr 4, 2007 - 76 comments

fact checkers out there in the factosphere

"Tired of the LIBERAL BIAS every time you search on Google and a Wikipedia page appears?" At Conservapedia, a "conservative encyclopedia you can trust," you can learn that "faith" is a concept "exclusive to Christianity," and about how Wikipedia is biased in matters such as its description of the Bell Trade Act of 1946, its gossipy treatment of the private life of NPR reporter Nina Totenberg, and its seeming acceptance of evolution. The Wikipedia bias entry also complains of a "rant" against the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a group for which Conservapedia founder (and son of conservative gadfly Phyllis Schafly) Andrew Schlafly has worked. Signups are here; its take on evolution is criticized here.
posted by ibmcginty on Feb 23, 2007 - 153 comments

I feel sorry for the boy who got yenta

Word. Eighth-grader Katharine Close has finally won the Scripps National Spelling Bee on her fifth attempt. She beat out 274 other competitors and won with the word ursprache, sounding it out live on national television. If spelling out rarely used historical-linguistic jargon seems tough, try weltschmerz on for size. That's the word runner-up Finola Mei Hwa Hackett stumbled on. While your at it, why not take a look at the entire word list and see how many you can get, or even just recognize. Prior escapades in spelling documented here, here [YouTube], and if you want to head out to theaters, here.
posted by dead_ on Jun 2, 2006 - 98 comments

Aargh!

Aargh!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 7, 2006 - 37 comments

Fourmilab -- reading unedited text

John Walker's method How and when to pay attention -- by the author of the Evil Empires bumper sticker and other treasures.
posted by hank on Aug 26, 2005 - 15 comments

Poor Walter

Walter Miller's homepage Picked up recently via kottke.org, this is a years-old webpage (not updated recently) detailing the miserable details of poor Walter's white trash existence. It deserves to be read by a whole new generation. The art of misspelling is taken to new heights.
posted by Holly on Jul 30, 2005 - 11 comments

Think about it, we could achieve a world where people would no longer look at "mathowie" and think "Math Owie" or "Ma Thowie"

Some counterarguments to those who argue against spelling reform in English put forth by Justin B. Rye. Here are some interesting sites on spelling reform: John J. Reilly's page on Spelling Reform. English Spelling Reform. American Literacy Council's Spelling Matters and Spelling Chaos and finally Spelling Reform @ Everything2.com. Many well-regarded anglophones have tried to bring about spelling reform, such as Noah Webster, Benjamin Franklin and Theodore Roosevelt.
posted by Kattullus on Jun 12, 2005 - 60 comments

Tools for editors

Tools for Editors. Find all kinds of useful language-related links; take a side trip to a site where you can recall the joys of diagramming sentences, corral misplaced apostrophes, check your spelling, set free pet peeves, or read lovely essays on the English language written by a retired professor of Dutch.
posted by etaoin on Mar 19, 2005 - 14 comments

Antidisestablishmentarianism

MetaFilter... can you spell it? An exercise in co-operative play.
posted by five fresh fish on Jan 2, 2005 - 73 comments

SpellingReform

The Simplified Spelling Society. Finally, a cause I can really get behind. More.
posted by srboisvert on Jun 9, 2003 - 63 comments

Yesterday I saw a wonderful movie - Spellbound - a documentary about the annual Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee - which won the Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at SXSW. It explores the dynamics surrounding kids and parents desire for success in the competition, reconciliation with failure and differing models of education, competition and success. When I was a kid I was on the TV show It's Academic - along with lots of other famous faces. While you may want to make fun of the show - I still remember it fondly. My parents were happy to see me compete but generally unconcerned about the outcome in any way. Now we've got Math Olympics, the Academic Decathlon and a host of other competitive ventures. Any other MeFites remember school days competitions and the drive to succeed?
posted by dhacker on Oct 21, 2002 - 29 comments

"I was very lucky that she triped over my uncontios body beried under piles of ash..."

"I was very lucky that she triped over my uncontios body beried under piles of ash..." A saga of epic proportions: some moron living inside his "Morrowind" RPG computer game writes his gameplay out as a novel. Welcome to a capsule indictment of American education and the consequences of the new "American Way." Thank heavens we don't live in Morrowind, where most people can't "right nor reed."
posted by Perigee on Oct 11, 2002 - 20 comments

Britney Spears.

Britney Spears. How do I spell thee? Let me count the ways...
posted by srboisvert on May 23, 2002 - 19 comments

Freespeling.com (with one el).

Freespeling.com (with one el). Because only 17% of native English speakers can spell "height", "necessary", "accommodation", "separate", "sincerely", and "business" correctly. Good idea or bad idea?
posted by Firda on Apr 5, 2001 - 30 comments

UK row as kids are told to adopt incorrect but 'international' spelling

UK row as kids are told to adopt incorrect but 'international' spelling A row has broken out in the UK as the organisation in charge of school examinations told pupils to drop traditional spelling of scientific words in favour of Americanised (wrong) ones.
Surely Sulphur comes from a Greek word which involves the letter phi (not fi) and is therefore the correct spelling...
posted by nico on Nov 26, 2000 - 30 comments

Spelling Bee has a sting in the tail...

Spelling Bee has a sting in the tail... The highly influential Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has abandoned the much-heralded German spelling reforms, arguing that the attempt to simplify and "democratise" the language has been a costly mistake. At the same time, though, the new Duden is accused of including too many English words such as "downloaden, Wellness and chatten, Backstage, Smiley and Trash", allegedly indebted to "advertisers and cyber geeks".Given that MeFi readers are, generally, from the two cultures separated by a common language, it's an interesting case study of state intervention gone wrong...
posted by holgate on Aug 2, 2000 - 4 comments

Well, I'm compleetly fed up with english speling for everything. Its so dammed inconsistant and ilogical, Ill never get the hang of it. Forchunately, now theres a way to express yourselfs using chinese-like english characters. It's called Yingzi and now you can write english as quickly as you can write for Fellini or for Peach
posted by lagado on Jul 23, 2000 - 13 comments

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