Friday, June 01, 2007


serrefine - n. - A small spring forceps used for approximating the edges of a wound, or for temporarily closing an artery during surgery.

Another word that I don't think I'll be able to use in every day conversation. Other than today, when I can say things like, "Did you see Even O'Dorney win the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night with the word 'serrefine'?" Ah, the spelling bee. The inspiration for my anthology Logorrhea: Good Words Make Good Stories. It's now become a standard at the end of May for my household to watch the bee.

My wife and I shout at the kids who keep asking for definitions and alternate pronounciations. Sometimes I feel bad for the kids, though. You can tell they're trying to suss out the spelling, and they're just asking questions without thinking about them so they don't feel the pressure of silence. Like the one boy, Prateek Kohli, who got a word (oberek) for which the definition was "a Polish folk dance" and then he asked the country of origin. Not surprisingly it was Polish. Without the pressure of the spelling bee, I suspect that Mr. Kohli doesn't ask that question.

Nice things said about Logorrhea:

"Delightful.... A treat for dictionary hounds and vocabulary-challenged word lovers everywhere."—Booklist

"This book is a logophile's dream—a left-field collection of stories inspired by winning words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Anyone who has ever spent an hour or two happily browsing the pages of a dictionary will find something to love here."—Kevin Brockmeier, author of A Brief History of the Dead

"Your book pays a beautiful tribute to the beauty, potential, versatility and history that lie within so many words and the English language as a whole. In other words, it encapsulates what it was that drove my competition in spelling bees and what drives my passion for language today."-Nupur Lala, winner of the 1999 National Spelling Bee (winning word: logorrhea)

"Buy it immediately."-The Agony Column

No comments: