Saturday, May 31, 2008

'Indiana boy spells "guerdon" to win national bee'

Story here. (It's pronounced: \ˈgər-dən\. Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French guerdun, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German widarlōn reward. Date: 14th century.)

After watching his sister try three times to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Sameer Mishra put himself on a mission.

"I told my mom I was going to do the bee," Sameer said. "And if I was going to do it, I was going to win it one day. And I guess it happened."

Did it ever. With the sister coaching him, Sameer augmented his spelling talent with a sense of humor that often kept the Grand Hyatt Ballroom audience laughing. The 13-year-old from West Lafayette, Ind., was finally all business when he aced "guerdon" — an appropriate word, given that it means "something that one has earned or gained" — to win the 81st bee Friday night. . . .

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