Column: Spell onychorrhexis; I dare you

• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on May 28, 2009

Among the after-school activities I participated in as a youth, Spell Bowl was one of my favorites.

I was pretty good at spelling so I was able to showcase a talent and, better yet, the sponsors gave us candy. It doesn’t get better than that.

After taking a test at the Scripps National Spelling Bee – – it turns out that while I’m still pretty good at spelling, I’m certainly not in the same class as the kids who competed this week in Washington, D.C.

My score of 21 points would not have qualified me for the quarterfinals, but I was pleased with it anyway.

Sure, I did not even come close on onychorrhexis or calque, had some silly misses with mores and thorough (I thought the speaker said burro; I spell better than I listen), and would have barely missed my third preliminary word on the stage – connoisseur. But for the most part I knew what I was doing, even surprising myself by spelling quomodo correctly.

Some area residents 50 years old and up will get a chance to test their own spelling skills soon.

State Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) is teaming up with the Area Agency on Aging to test local seniors’ spelling skills at the Senior Spelling Bee, which will be held Saturday, June 6.

The spelling bee is open to everyone 50 or older who lives in the 50th House District, which includes parts of Kane County. The event will begin at 10 a.m. June 6 in the community room of the Sugar Grove Fire Department headquarters, 25 Municipal Drive, Sugar Grove.

Those wishing to participate need to register with her office by Tuesday, June 2. You can call her office at 630-553-3223 or e-mail her at The winner of the Senior Spelling Bee will advance to a regional competition and, if successful there, on to a statewide competition.

A list of some – but not all – of the words contestants will be asked to spell will be posted in the coming weeks on Hatcher’s Web site, Rules and study materials will also be provided upon registration.

Oh, and just so you know, I’ll be one of the judges. And I do know how to spell quomodo so you can’t slip that one by me. If one of the words is onychorrhexis, though, your guess is as good as mine.

Joe Grace is the editor of The Chronicle. Write to him at or call him at 630-845-5368.

Editor’s notes

Making St. Charles flowery: I would like to thank the members of the Pottawatomie Garden Club for planting flowers throughout downtown St. Charles last week. We all appreciate your efforts. It took 30 volunteers an hour and half to plant the flowers. The club will be out there again in the fall on Sept. 16.

Congratulations and good luck: U.S. Marine Aaron Fogg, 24, of Batavia, married his Batavia High School sweetheart, Susan Morrison – in a military wedding on Memorial Day weekend at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia. Aaron, who returned in December from a third deployment to Iraq, had many of his fellow Marines in attendance including his brother, Brandon Fogg, who is home from a deployment to Afghanistan. Proud mother Bonnie Fogg was just happy to have her two military sons together and home for such a momentous day. “We’re very proud of them,” she said.

Best of the Fox: In tomorrow’s Chronicle, we’ll unveil The Chronicle Readers’ Choice Awards, better known as the Best of the Fox. Be sure to find out which area restaurants, stores, shops and offices took home the top prize this year.


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