Protesters Picket The Scripps Spelling Bee

Tonight is one of my favorite television events—the finals of the Scripps Spelling Bee (8 p.m. EST on ABC), perhaps because I’m a documentary junkie and have seen “Spellbound” one too many times. (If you haven’t seen it, Netflix now.) I mean who doesn’t love a spelling bee? The sweet-but-nerdy kids, the pressure, the choice of words like “numbnut” for them to spell. Apparently, not everyone. A group of protesters has been picketing outside the hotel where the spelling bee is held. Decked out in bee costumes, they are happy to explain their objection—they think the English language should be simplified and that words should be spelled just as they sound. In other words, “enough” should be “enuf,” “fruit” should be “froot,” and “slow” should be “slo.” Roberta Mahoney, 81, a former elementary school principal, is the leader of the group. She argues that because of the complexity of English, 40 percent of the population can’t read or write. “Our alphabet has 425-plus ways of putting words together in illogical ways,” she says. While many people probably agree with her—for example, tweens who think “l8r” is a real word—not too many were willing to travel to D.C. and rain on the spelling bee participants’ wordy parade. The total number of protesters: four. [Yahoo! News]