Sprawling is an underwater verity.
(Reset: Turn off auto-correct.)
Spllng iz n unapp vrtu.
(Reset: Stop tweeting right now.)
OK, what we meant to say: Spelling is an unappreciated virtue.
Though words and language are malleable and ever changing, the assault on correct spelling is unending and all around us. In advertising and pop culture, from text messaging to Twitter, the act of spelling, unfortunately, has become an anything-goes sport.
So its heartening to learn that some people even beyond the words and publishing business still take spelling seriously. Count among them Sophia Hoffman, a Lees Summit fifth-grader, and Kush Sharma, a Kansas City seventh-grader.
Sophia and Kush outlasted the competition in the Jackson County Spelling Bee on Saturday. And they outlasted the judges ability to deliver fresh words.
The two students blew through a sanctioned list of words intended to produce finalists for the Scripps National Spelling Bee in May. And they both were still standing after bee officials gave them 20 more words out of a dictionary (Merriam-Webster, 11th Edition): Intaglio, ocarina, rapprochement....
The childrens success in 66 rounds of spelling is a worthy testament to brain power in a world where it too often takes a back seat to brawn and to brazen acts of attention-getting.
This probably doesnt happen too often, but Sophia and Kush will meet again March 8 to complete the match.
Both already deserve applause. Neither deserves schadenfreude look it up which Sophia had to spell on Saturday.
One thing is absolutely certain: Whoever wins and represents the area in the national bee will have hard-won, word-by-word experience on their side.