I care about proper spelling, and am not particularly good at it. My wife is a good speller. Her mother is an Excellent spellist - a master of the spelling arts. But not me. Yet, I care. So for the past couple of years, whenever I've had to look up a word because I was - stumped - I made a note of it. Today, to honor the Cedar Falls students who did so well at our recent spelling bee, I've decided to share my list with you. If you know an orthographer who thinks s/he is All That, feel free to quiz them and post the results. I take no pride in the words that wound up on this list, but I hope that you and yours can find strength in my ignorance.

THE 2013-2014 LIST:

1. Subpoena If you want me to tell you where all these bananas came from, you will have to serve me with a subpoena.
2. Parliamentary The one procedure that comes with its own anesthetic is parliamentary procedure.
3. Karaoke She said she would never sing into a karaoke machine, but when her friends sang with her, she found it kind of fun.
4. Connecticut People from Rhode Island think of Connecticut the way normal people think about Texas.
5. Anonymously If you are going to post long screeds about the importance of bravery, don't do it anonymously.
6. Cartilage My friend Julie used to gross people out in high school by demonstrating that she was born without any cartilage in her nose.
7. Worcestershire sauce If you want to add complexity to any egg dish, or even macaroni and cheese, add a touch of Worcestershire sauce.
8. Loquacious If you like great conversation, but find yourself a lazy conversationalist, find some fun loquacious friends to hang out with.
9. Spontaneity Although our dates lack careful planning, they have an abundance of spontaneity.
10. Piranha He was very pleased with himself for designing a suit specifically for smuggling roe, until he fell into a tank of piranha.
11. Precocious When your kid painted his sleeping grandfather with poster paint, he was not being precocious, he was being a jerk.
12. Kaleidoscope That mirrored cylinder with loose colored objects reminds me of a kaleidoscope.
13. Presbyterian Shlomo Mishkin and Frances O'Malley get strange looks when they order cheeseburgers on Friday nights, even though they are both Presbyterian.
14. Kielbasa You can tell quality of a sausage maker by the spiciness of his kielbasa.
15. Connoisseurs While ordinary people pay twenty cents for ramen noodles, the true connoisseurs will pay upwards of 75 cents for the top quality brands.
16. Mischievous When my kid painted his sleeping grandfather with poster paint, he was not being a jerk, he was being a mischievous.

...by the way, Laurel got all but one of them correct, and her mom got them all.

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