Style Invitational Week 1335: Put it in Bee-verse! Or . . .

Write a short poem — or a Q-A joke — using a National Spelling Bee word

(Bob Staake for The Washington Post)
By Pat Myers

Pat Myers

Editor and judge of The Style Invitational since December 2003
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June 6

(Click here to skip down <#report> to the winning cut-and-paste entries)

A stratospheric butte formed by orthographic perfection eight times
over: This year’s “octochamps” each picked up $50,000 in the Scripps
National Spelling Bee by clearing round after round flawlessly, as the
words became progressively wha??? — until the bee declared them all
winners after Round 20.

 Every year the critics come out, complaining that the kids wasted sooo
much time and effort and money to memorize words they’ll never use. Oh
yeah? The whizzes can come right over here.

*This week: Write a humorous poem of eight lines or fewer that includes
at least one of the words used in Round 9 or later* of this year’s bee.

*OR: Write a joke in Q&A form that uses at least one of the words.*

The complete set of spelling bee words is at*
. * But if you don’t want to wade
through all those words, then use one of the following 20.

(These pronunciations and brief definitions were adapted from those at . If you find an alternative
pronunciation or meaning listed online, you may use that if you include
a link to that listing with your entry.)

*auslaut * /(owss-lout, rhymes with “out”):/ The final sound in a word
or syllable

*badderlocks * /(takes a singular verb): / A large brownish-black
seaweed eaten as a vegetable in Europe

*bougainvillea * /(boogan-VILL-ya or boogan-VEE-a):/ A tropical American
vine or shrub with bright purple or red flowers

** *calathos * /(CAL-a-thahss, rhymes with “toss”):/ In ancient Egyptian
and Greek art, a fruit basket worn on the head as a symbol of fruitfulness

*cernuous * /(sern-u-ous):/ Describing a pendulous or drooping plant

*chocalho * /(shu-KYE-yu): / Merriam-Webster describes this Brazilian
rhythm instrument as a rattling gourd, like a maraca, but YouTube videos
show that the term is now used for a sort of tambourine on a flat
rectangular frame

*Cytherean * /(sith-a-REE-an):/ Relating to the planet Venus

*jacqueminot *l /(jock-mi-NO):/ Raspberry red

*mondegreen * /(MON-de-green):/ A phrase, especially in a song, that
results from mishearing the real words, such as “the girl with colitis
goes by” instead of “the girl with kaleidoscope eyes”

*murrain * /(MUR-ren):/ An archaic word for a disease afflicting
livestock; some Bible translations say murrain attacked cattle in the
Fifth Plague in the Book of Exodus

*odylic * /(OH-de-lic):/ Referring to /od, / a word coined in the 19th
century for a hypothetical power once thought to pervade nature and
account for various phenomena, such as magnetism. [From Oxford Living

*omphalopsychite * /(AHM-phal-o-psy-kite/ or /ahm-pha-LOP-si-kite/): one
who stares fixedly at one’s navel to induce a mystical trance

*palama * /(PAL-ama):/ The webbing on the feet of aquatic birds

*passepied * /(pahss-p’YAY):/ A French courtly dance of the 17th and
18th centuries, similar to a fast minuet

*pendeloque * /(PON-de-lawk), /a pear-cut diamond, or a diamond-shaped
crystal in a chandelier, etc.

*rhathymia * /(ra-THIGH-mia): / The state of being lighthearted or carefree

*taurokathapsia * /(TAW-ra-ka-THAP-sia): / An ancient Cretan sport in
which a performer grasps the horns of a bull and somersaults over him

*tettigoniid *(TET-i-GON-i-id): An insect in the family of long-horned

*therblig *(THER-blig): An individual element involved in completing a
mangual task, such as “search,” “find,” “select,”; the backward (mostly)
spelling of Gilbreth, the motion study pioneer immortalized in the book
“Cheaper by the Dozen.”

*urfirnis* /(oor-furnace):/ A lustrous paint or glaze found on
prehistoric Greek pottery

At least for the poems, you must use the word with its real meaning and
pronunciation; you can’t pretend that it’s something else. You may use a
slightly different form of the word, such as a plural, adding “-ing,”
etc. You may add a title, and the word might appear only in the title.**

Submit entries at *
* (all lowercase).

Winner gets the *Lose Cannon,

* our Style Invitational trophy. Second place receives a *Bacon Odor
Two-Pack: * a bar of bacon-scented soap plus a bacon-smell car air
“freshener.” Both donated ages ago by Loser Pie Snelson.

*Other runners-up *win our “You Gotta Play to Lose”
Mug or our “Whole Fools”

Grossery Bag. Honorable mentions get one of our lusted-after Loser
magnets, “Too-Weak Notice”

or “Certificate of (de)Merit.”

First Offenders receive only a smelly tree-shaped air “freshener”

for their first ink). *Deadline is Monday night, June 17; *results
published July 7 in print, July 3 (Wednesday) online. See general
contest rules and guidelines at
. The headline for this week’s results is by
Chris Doyle; Chris also wrote the honorable-mentions subhead. Join the
lively Style Invitational Devotees group on Facebook at /
./ “Like” the Style Invitational Ink of the Day
on Facebook at /; / follow
@StyleInvite on Twitter.

**The Style *Conversational: *The Empress’s weekly online column
discusses each new contest and set of results. Especially if you plan to
enter, check it out at

And from The Style Invitational four weeks ago . . .


In*Week 1331 *the Empress asked you to find
some article in any publication that week, then “accidentally” cut a
small block of text from a sentence or headline and/or paste some text
from elsewhere in the same article. In the entries below, the cuts are
struck out or, if they’re a very few letters, set off in brackets so the
deletion is clearer; the pastes are in italics.

*First a note:* With EIGHT entries published this week, Jesse Frankovich
— a sort of James Holzhauer of The Style Invitational — has scored his
500th blot of ink (and more), almost all of it in less than four years,
thus rocketing himself into the Invite Hall of Fame. See an interview
with Jesse in this week’s Style Conversational at

4th place:

Mr. Inkredible: It took him about 15 minutes — well, less than four
years, once he got going — for Jesse Frankovich to hit the 500-blot mark.

*Trump to unveil plan to move immigration toward ‘me*[rit]**-based’
system*.* (David Peckarsky, Tucson)

3rd place:

*Big*[fo]*ot sightings have been described in areas across Alabama.*
(Jesse Frankovich, Grand Ledge, Mich.)

2nd place and thebasket crocheted from Post delivery bags

*Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, owns * The Washington Post /every
American between ages 18 and 64. / (Eric Nelkin, Silver Spring, Md.)

And the winner of the Lose Cannon:

*Our devices steal our attention. We need to* take it back /DING./
(Duncan Stevens, Vienna, Va.)

Hon /Depl/orable mentions:

*Paint it black and add spikes, president advises engineers of his*
border wall /White House/ (Kevin Dopart, Washington)

*Paint it black and add spikes, president advises engineers of his *
border wall /head/ (Gary Crockett, Chevy Chase, Md.)

*“I with my Republican colleagues always want to be supportive of the
most cons* ervative candidate *who can actually win a race.”* (Beverley
Sharp, Montgomery, Ala.)

*Celebrate every type of* /tart, tangy, salty / *mom this Mother’s Day
with these 7 special recipes *(Michelle Christophorou, Guildford, England)

*Filings reveal justices’ bit* ter rift on death penal *ty * /members/
(Duncan Stevens)

*With fewer ‘hard *[p]*asses,’ will it be harder to cover White House?*
(Gary Crockett; Jeff Contompasis, Ashburn, Va.)

*A guide to 20 inquiries Trump and his *[al]*lies are working to impede*
(Kevin Dopart)

*Amazon Now Has Machines to Automatically Bo* /lli/ *x Up Orders* (Jesse

*As high court overturns 40-year-old ruling, some justices ask what’s*
next /the Constitution/ (Elden Carnahan, Laurel, Md.)

*D* rug addicti *on is broadly defined as a disease that needs cleansing
of the mind, body, and soul.* (Jesse Frankovich)

*Decorating on a budget, bit by bit? Here’s what these designers would
do. * /Plug-in dimmers./ (Marli Melton, Carmel Valley, Calif.)

*Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner’s * /Weiner’s scandalous
saga started in 2011. / (Frank Osen, Pasadena, Calif.)

*House passes measure to block* ACA waivers to states /a faint glimmer
of potential cooperation / (Jon Gearhart, Des Moines)

*Far* mers marke *ts booming on Vancouver Island* (Jesse Frankovich)

*Fox unveils ‘insanely simple’ * business model /host for prime time
slot / (Dinah Rokach, Silver Spring, Md.)

*He laughed when Martinez t*[e]*ased him for being a Yankees fan.*
(Gregory Koch, Falls Church, Va.)

*House passes disaster relief bill despite Trump’s opposition to*
funding for Puerto Rico /American values/] (David Peckarsky)

*Keanu Reeves’ Impressive Skill Set Takes Centre Stage in John* Wick 3
(Jesse Frankovich)

*National * ser *vice can bring us together as a nation *(Michelle

*She brought her business background to the task: research, resources,
problem-solving,* /kicking and screaming./ (Mark Raffman, Reston, Va.)

*This ‘swimsuit season’ remember* that values t *rump appearance* (Jeff

*Trump takes over Fourth of July celebration, changing its location and
inserting himself into * the program /portable toilets / (Michelle

*But two of the top House Republicans on Sunday criticized her use of
the phrase “calming feeling,” falsely accusing her of using the phrase
to describe her views about * the Holocaust itself /top House
Republicans. / (Sam Mertens, Silver Spring, Md.)

*Calif. to ban * a pesticide, citing effects on *infants:* /“Utter
failure.” /(Duncan Stevens)

*Butt* igieg likens Trump’s *tweets to ‘grotesque things’ * (Ben Aronin,

[Pl]*ant-based Whopper could make orders impossible for small
restaurants *(Frank Mann, Washington)

*U.S. tourism to Cuba doubles after Trump’s ‘full and complete
e*[mbar]*go’ threats* (Jesse Frankovich)

*We believe our country has a mor* al obligati *on to protect public
health and our environment.* (Jesse Frankovich)

*We need good* /er/ *English teachers *(Jesse Frankovich)

*Still running — deadline Monday night, June 10: Our contest to make a
new phrase from two words in the Mueller report. See
. *

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