Monday, December 10, 2012

ABC #49: Resinogenous

A couple of weeks ago, teacher pal Stacy and I were a pronouncers at our Spelltacular competition. That's what we call the Spelling Bee at our school. Anyway, the pronouncer job is a really tough one with a lot of pressure, so Stacy and I got together ahead of time to practice all the pronunciations and accompanying sentences.

We did not, however, practice reading the definitions. And that's what got me in big trouble at the Spelltacular.

Let me set the scene: we were in the final rounds of the competition, down to the final two spelltestants. Those two were all, "Can you pronounce it again?" "Can I have the definition?" "Can I get the language of origin?" and all of that nonsense.

So, anyway, I was pronouncing, and the word was resinogenous. First I said, "res-IN-ah-ges," but I immediately knew that was wrong.

"No," I said. "Just a minute." I turned and conferred with Stacy, and she got me back on the right track. It's resin-AH-gen-ous.

"Resinogenous," I said. "While hiking through the woods, Samantha enjoyed the fragrance of the resinogenous trees. Resinogenous."

"Can you say it again?" asked the speller.

"Resinogenous," I repeated, confidently.

"Can I have the language of origin?" asked the speller.

"This word is from a Greek-derived Latin element, plus a Greek-derived element plus an English combining form," I read. As if that would help him determine the spelling.

"And can I have the definition?" he asked, in the fateful moment.

You guys, I am not kidding. This is the definition of resinogenous listed in the spelling bee guide:

any of various hard brittle solid to soft semisolid amorphous fusible flammable substances that are usually transparent or translucent and yellowing to brown in color with a characteristic luster and that are formed especially in plant secretions.

You just go ahead and TRY to read that with a straight face at the middle school Spelltacular. I mean it, just TRY to. Obviously, it's impossible. Obviously, I laughed my head off at the podium in front of the entire middle school. Obviously, at least five people greeted me that evening at the faculty happy hour by my new name: "Resinogenous." One person called me "Giggles," instead.


jdoc said...

Just read this aloud to Dave. We are laughing heartily. Nothing like eight adjectives to modify the same noun. Spelltastic!

KK said...

This is a great story. Laughed out loud, especially thinking about you laughing out loud at the podium.

mm said...

Spelltastic made me laugh as much as anything. You go Giggles!