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Spelling Bee
Jan. 28, 2008

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Yeah, I had to look it up, too.

stru-thi-ous: of or relating to the ostriches and related birds

That's because it's a freakish word, not a real word that anyone ever uses, and the toughest word they threw out in the spelling bee. And, of course, they had to give it to 4th-grade Ellie in her second round, saving the really tough words like "narrate" and "raspberry" for the 6th graders who made the later rounds.

Throughout the day, I grumbled to colleagues with backgrounds at The New York Times, Business Week, and Harvard Business Review .... and none had ever heard of "struthious."

Alas, we will never forget it!

Ellie handled it with admirable grace. (Here's a 16-megabyte Quicktime movie of the event.)

As compensation, we took in a late-afternoon matinee and had dinner at our favorite secret place, the restaurant that Mommy & Emily will never figure out!