A parent just contacted me wanting to know if I would help her get spelling bees started at our school.

I gave her a list of reasons why I don't like spelling bees, but it got me wondering if anyone had ideas for school-wide activities that would generate pleasure, celebration, enjoyment, diversion, entertainment, joking and jollity, merriment and mirth, rejoicing, delight, beguilement, diversion, gratification, high times and hoopla (how's that, Melvyn?), and excitement the way spelling bees do (though preferably without the pain and misery), but that would involve thinking, reasoning, and understanding of words and the way language works, rather than memorization and luck.

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