Yale linguists to compete in New Haven Reads Spelling Bee

October 19, 2016

Several Yale linguists are gearing up to represent our department at the 5th Annual New Haven Reads Spelling Bee this Friday evening, October 21! The event is a fundraiser for New Haven Reads, a local non-profit organization that works to promote literacy in the Greater New Haven area by providing one-on-one after-school tutoring, educational family support, and a community book bank, all at no cost to participants. The spelling bee a lighthearted affair, complete with refreshments, a cash bar, and teams with costumes and punny names.

At the start of the school year, over 20 department members participated in an intense qualifying round that included words like quebracho, tickicidal, and ikebana. Here are the final team rosters—both team names are pronounced /fɪʃ/ but their spellings are inspired by a joke about English spelling often mistakenly attributed to George Bernard Shaw.

Team ​Ghoti (Fish) Team Phessi (Fish)
PhD student Sarah Babinski PhD student Luke Lindemann
Postdoc Matt Barros Grad student Dan Schwennicke
PhD student Chris Geissler Postdoc Jason Zentz
Senior Tom McCoy (alternate) Professor Bob Frank (alternate)

The bee will take place at Evans Hall at the Yale School of Management (165 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06511), across the street from the Peabody Museum of Natural History. The doors will open at 6pm for light hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and complimentary ice cream from Shake Shack, and then the bee will run from 7pm to 9pm. Admission is free with a $10 suggested donation, so if you are local to the area, please come to cheer our teams on! See this page for further information.

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