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Word of The Hive

By Shahnoor Rabbani

The Daily Star Spelling Bee has gone pretty smooth over its course of almost two months. As the school activation rounds and the online rounds come to an end, a few things need to be more structuralized. Many participants have doubts about the version of spellings used and accepted by the Spelling Bee. While we have been hearing that only the British spellings will be taken to be correct, there have been instances where the American ones were granted as well. That's where the confusion starts.

The organisers should come to a decision regarding this and stuck to it for all schools. Students and teachers have expressed concern over this and the irregularity is just not right for a competition of this stature. What adds to the confusion is that the Spellato, a spelling guidebook for participants to help them prepare has mixed versions of the spellings in it.

Even though the irregularity has not caused anyone to be disqualified just yet, as the competition moves to the divisional rounds and TV rounds, a standard should be set. It is very confusing to hear one group from the organisers say that only the British spelling will be followed while another group says that both are acceptable.

Its good that most words with alternate spellings have been avoided usually. But in the rounds to come, this might not always be an option. What otherwise has been a very regular and competitively lively competition will be so much more standard if this can be taken care of. As a teacher from Sunbeams said to the pronouncer after the School Activations there that the competitions and the pronunciation has been on a very standard level. When a little improvement is all that is needed, then why not? It's not that hard to stick to one set of spellings and follow it.

Spell Check

/c/ before e, i, or y says, "s"
Everyone wonders once in a while why the 'c' in 'once' is pronounced as 's'. I mean we already have a letter 's' for that particular pronunciation, right? Apparently, the above rule is to blame, and always the c before e, i and y imitates 's' like the adolescent kid trying to sound like Bieber. Not that Bieber doesn't sounds like an adolescent kid anyway. Examples are: cent, city and cycle.

The letter q is always written with u and we say, "kw."
So in effect, when we say kweeellz, we should technically be spelling it as quellz. Hey, that's what the rules say. Let's just hope people don't start spelling quiet as kwait. Exception to the rule: the pronunciation is eek, when the word ends with an ique like technique or critique.


By Sameeha Al Sayed, USTC, Chittagong
Photo Credit: Rehnuma Tasneem Sheefa

Screams. Gunshots.
The thud of a human, in complete form and might, against the ground.
And dust.
In the blur of fleeting moments and the clash between two worlds, I can see everything. I can see every speck of dust that belongs to the storm breaking out. I can see the life of every one of them, the most beautiful of moments in the hands of bloody men, the innocence in a child's question, stars of a moonless sky bowing to the eternity of darkness, and the brilliance of scars etched into the hearts of these
young men.

All of them, wasting away to nothing.
Fathers, sons, and brothers. They fall one by one. They fall because others have yet to see a new dawn, to see the crashing of waves against the shore.
But all that's assuming that they're alive. For all we know, they might have already added to the statistics, to the mass of dead bodies
lying in our hospitals.

Welcome to our lives. Welcome to madness.
So I do what I do best. I keep reciting the same words over and over and over again only so I can make order out of chaos. My mother, my father, my sister, my niece; it's all in my head.

My country.
I remember dreaming about the mirth of my 3 year old niece, the love my mother fed me with, and the pride my father took in me. I remember believing in the world I dreamt for all of them. I also remember when this was never about the rage of a thousand men, or using my brother's corpse as a shield. And believe me God, this was never meant to be
about shooting a hundred bullets towards the same man.

But that was so long ago. Time feels heavy now with the weight of dread, and pained souls but even when it belongs to the reality of a crippled world, it passes without much notice. This war, right now, is about all the things it was never about. The rifle's all I've got.

So I shoot. One, two, three, four….I shoot till all my emptiness pours out, till I avenge for every one of my brother who's fallen, till I'm shredded to a million more pieces. If there's something called harmony, I hope I never know. Because the rubble needs more substance and God knows if I'll ever go back…maybe someday in wounded bits, but till then, no.

My mother, my father, my sister, my niece. My country.

Word of the day


Meaning: A person who engages in a pursuit, esp. a sport, on an unpaid basis
The word says it all. A rookie mistake. The trick part of the word is that it ends with the French suffix, eur, which is actually the equivalent of the English er. So while mature ends with er, amateur doesn't.


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