The Word Series

A friend pointed out that I misspelled Saltalamacchia in a previous post.

I figure I deserve to be punished. And so why shouldn’t I make the punishment fun?

If you haven’t wasted at least a few hours doing pointless baseball (and non-baseball) quizzes over at Sporcle… well, I’m about to ruin your productivity forever. Because even if you don’t like the quiz I’m about to link you to, I’m pretty sure something over there is going to suck you in (or you are far more immune to the distractions of the Internet than I am… though, really, if you were, would you be reading NotGraphs?).

My self-inflicted punishment for misspelling Salty’s name is that I’ve created a quiz to test how well you can spell the hardest names in baseball (current players only). Yeah, that Marc guy is one of ’em.

Good luck.

[First one with a perfect score wins… about $40,000 less than the winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. My last spelling bee was in 4th grade, when I was eliminated from my district’s competition by misspelling halibut. For more than twenty years, I didn’t eat halibut, in silent protest. That streak was broken due to an unfortunate choice of entrees at a wedding a few years ago. I think it must have been something like “halibut or garbage?” because I honestly don’t remember what would have possibly made me choose the halibut and end my lifelong strike. I have not eaten it again since. For those who haven’t already clicked over to the quiz– or a different post!– by now, I spelled it “h-a-l-i-b-i-t.” How many fourth graders frequent the local fishmonger and study the price list??? I’m still convinced it was the pronouncer’s fault. The winning word was refrigerator! Refrigerator!! But I’m over it. Really, I am.]




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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.


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Brandon Warne
Guest

I remember what words eliminated me…..

In 6th grade, it was indecisively.
In 7th grade, I missed out altogether.
In 8th grade, it was moonlet in the district bee, and chastise in the regionals.

mj
Guest
mj

Hmm, got 16/24. Good quiz. Of the 8 I missed, there were 4 guys I had never heard of and 4 guys I couldn’t spell.

TartanElk
Guest
TartanElk

I got 21 of 24, I would’ve had all 24 I believe, but it seemed to just take half-names.

It only let me type in “PInei” for PIneiro. Only “Buch” for Buchholz. Only “Teix” for Teixeira.

I actually had to take it twice as it didn’t appreciate me trying to erase my too fast typing. :(

I call shenanigans.

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu

Yeah, I’m confused. When I was halfway done typing a bunch of names, it automatically locked me into the wrong answer. And wouldn’t let me try again. So if you make a typo, or (like me) need to visually see a word before figuring out the correct spelling, you lose.

Brad Johnson
Member
Member

We only did spelling bee once, in 4th grade. I lost with faucet. I call them taps now.

Bear in mind, I hail from New Jersey by Philadelphia (yea, that’s a place). Faucet is a tricky word for a 4th grader without the teacher butchering the pronunciation. Just imagine Snooki saying it.

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu

Beer in mind.

Brad Johnson
Member
Member

Uhg I missed 3 that I knew how to spell because of my stuck ‘e.’ But then I missed four others besides.

skipperxc
Member
skipperxc

I got 16/24. Totally forgot about the Luebke. Might have gotten some of the others — it failed me for Pierzynski even though I was typing Pineiro. And now I too am flashing back to old spelling bees.

In 6th grade I lost on “pharaoh” (which I will never misspell ever again).
In 8th grade I won the district on “tributary” (which even then I remember thinking was absurdly easy), but lost in regionals on “proboscis” (which I still can’t get right).

My younger brother won the district on “ludicrous” — his face lit up when he heard the word because we had watched Spaceballs just the night before.

The Rajah
Guest
The Rajah

I was 5th grade spelling bee champion! I got 16/24. Typing with one hand while eating an apple during a timed test is not recommended.

buddy
Guest
buddy

I lost a spelling bee on the word “coronet”. The pronouncer was from Texas, so I thought that “corinette” must have been some word that I’d never heard of before.

buddy
Guest
buddy

Also, who is Cory Luebke?

Yirmiyahu
Member
Yirmiyahu

They should only use pronouncers who are native speakers.

Brian S
Guest
Brian S

Funny, I specifically remember winning a spelling bee in 4th grade with the word “Refrigerator.” Do I know you??

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest
Well-Beered Englishman

22/24. Completely forgot who Joel P. and Chris J. were – in Joel P.’s case, I guess he’s just the kind of pitcher you forget.

Coodle
Guest
Coodle

I felt gypped because I misspelled Marc R. for the first time I can remember, so naturally I took the quiz twice. 16 both times. I managed to misspell Andy S. the second time after getting it the first time.

The rest of my quiz time was occupied by staring at my Casey M. and pondering why it wasn’t being accepted or cancelled out. Not trying new things, just staring. I had him confused for another pro athlete. I don’t know why.

Adrastus Perkins
Member

20/24.

Had no idea who Chris J. was. And Jeff S. has an impossible last name.

AustinRHL
Member
AustinRHL

I legitimately got 24/24 on the first try (Jeff S. being the only one I really had to think about), which probably says more bad than good about me. I did win a district-level spelling bee in fourth grade and I do pay attention to the spellings of unusual words, so I guess it isn’t completely surprising.

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