Many people question why the spelling bee is so acclaimed. Many people also question, “Well, what’s the point of learning so many words if you aren’t going to use most of them?” There is so much more to a word than just the letters that make the spelling. The pronunciation is a small part. The etymology is a tumultuous saga of a word going through various languages while adapting to various cultures. For example, water, a common word. It went from Sanskrit to Greek to Latin to Gothic to Old Norse to Old High German and then finally reached English. The various facets of a word create a story of its own.
The spelling bee essentially is an endurance contest. Many bees can and do extend beyond the “allotted” time. As rounds of back-to-back spelling buzz (had to add that) by, some spellers may succumb to pressure. Those that can maintain composure amidst the cameras and lights are to be applauded.
The word knowledge gained from studying for the spelling bee is beneficial and does help people. Many words that you may have seen also can appear in many places. The most common example perhaps would be going to an Italian restaurant and seeing various kinds of pasta. Or perhaps for those interested in biology, different names of animals. The next time you see a word, think about how you could use it.