This may be the best-known spelling rule:
i before e, except after c
or when sounded like "ay"
as in neighbor and weigh
Here are some words that follow the rule:
IE words: believe, field, relief
CEI words: ceiling, deceit, receive
EI words: freight, reign, sleigh
Some exceptions: either, foreign, height, leisure, protein, weird
"CIEN words" are another exception to the rule. These include ancient, efficient, and science.
Have you heard the expression "When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking?" This means that when there are two vowels in a row, the first usually has a long sound and the second is silent. That's why it's team, not taem; coat, not caot; and wait, not wiat. Remembering this rule will help you to put vowels in the right order.
In general, though, memorizing rules isn't the most effective way to learn spelling. Most rules have exceptions—and besides, you are best at learning words that you have made an effort to understand. A good way to understand a word is to break it into syllables. Look for prefixes, suffixes, and roots. Practice each short part and then the whole word.
After you break apart a word, ask yourself: How is this word like other words I know? Spelling the word traditional may make you think of spelling functional and national. Finding patterns among words is one of the best ways to learn spelling.
Last week a teacher got into a huge debate about the spelling of words like analyse and analyze. The Champs21 Spelling Bee, like most other official institutions here in Bangladesh follows the British spellings.
The Queen vs Obama
While your MS Word spell check might say emphasize is spelled with a z, it will get you knocked out of the competition. Same goes for words like colour: while the Americans use just an O, the British spelling uses OU.
There are other nuances of spelling for both the nations, so if you are serious about the competition, it is advised to look into them. Notable examples are the use of l (traveller and traveler)and ae (encyclopaedia > encyclopedia).
Word of the hive - Week 2
By Shahnoor Rabbani
Thus, the zonal activations of the Spelling Bee began from last week with events in Tangail and Mymensingh, one in Pabna even with a countrywide hartal on that day and unfortunately a cancelled one in Bogra due to more serious nature of that day's hartal.
If you've been reading the reports in the paper you'd already know by now that these events have been creating quite the buzz around the visited districts with more than impressive turnouts, due to the stalls, the mascot and the whole carnival-like nature it.
So I won't go into much detail, but rather talk about my experience pronouncing during these activations. I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it but I'd also have to say that reading Bangla is not my forte or area of expertise (but then I do sometimes wonder what really is), but I guess I didn't do as bad as some initially predicted or as well as I'd personally have liked to.
I haven't had to go into the hard or verbose set of words so I can't really say how good my pronouncing would be when and if that does happen in any of the future zonal activations. But I have tried to add in some humour (at least for me and my sake) to the competition with wordplay and by trying to interact with the participants as much as I can to reduce their stage fright or at least try to. The impromptu TV shoot in Mymensingh was a bit of a shocker because I clearly did not bother to suit-up. Oh well, at least I was in my element with my beloved cap and all.
Popularity comes at a price – just ask the Spelling Bee mascot the aptly named “The Bee” and he, or should I say it, will tell you that getting followed by a herd of school kids in the field and getting your picture taken is not as rosy as it sounds, especially when these adorable children decide to punch and kick your bee-hind and unzip your costume's chain.
So far, Mymensingh has been the pick of the lot as far as the quality of the spellers go and even in terms of participation and crowd enthusiasm, with them making it clear that they wanted to see students from their school get the nod, and were quite happy to cheer the ones from the other schools that would not. They also have a few potentially good writers in the Divisional Round qualifiers. Some of them sent me their write-ups and I guess one of them got selected for this week's issue.
At the time of this writing (Sunday) I'm in Dinajpur, with another zonal activation left before I return to Dhaka. I'll have more for next week, hoping I'm able to reach Dhaka safely by Tuesday morning, cause these darn hartals conveniently decide to show up every time there is a zonal activation, or so has been the case from Pabna onwards. Conspiracy? Hmm.
Word of the day: easel
You wouldn't expect that word to be up there. Pretty harmless for a word. But the uproar of laughter it created during the School Activation Rounds in Mastermind School is enough to give it a chance.
The pronouncer gave the word. Once. The participant could not understand it clearly. The prnouncer gave the word again. And again. And again. But for heaven's sake, the girl just could not understand the word.
Things got to the point when the all the audience was saying the word out in chorus. Everyone. Everyone was laughing, while everyone tried to help her understand the word, which only confused her farther. All she heard was something like “easuh?”
She got eliminated from the round. She left in good spirits though, telling everyone that she was glad to make everyone laugh.