There are spelling words and then there are words I would consider ‘verbal diarrhea.’ Week after week, we go review Justin’s spelling words with him and he usually does pretty well during the Friday spelling tests. However, this week, we’re dealing with a rectal explosion of orthographic study.
Justin (a 3rd grader) was sent home with a new spelling word to learn, in addition to his 20 other spelling words. The word is: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. (Just for the record, I misspelled it twice while typing it….and I was reading it from a piece of paper!) It is a noun. Just from looking at it, I would have assumed someone died from it. Not the disease itself, but rather just from having to learn how to spell it. Whoever discovered it was smart enough not to put his or her name on it.
I asked GWE if this was a legitimate spelling word or if it was a bonus word. We were confused. The instruction clearly stated that if the word was spelled incorrectly, four points would be deducted from the final grade. However, this word is ridiculous and clearly not in league with Justin’s other spelling words. For clarification, I asked GWE to email Justin’s teacher.
The following day, the teacher responded that no points would be deducted if the word was spelled incorrectly.
I’m starting to understand why Justin is confused in class. The written instructions did not match the verbal instructions. And, I still didn’t know if this was considered a bonus word. I decided to leave it alone and not care. However, I did offer GWE $10 to send the following response:
Thank you for your prompt response. We are sorry to inform you that Justin will not be participating in this week’s spelling test because he suffers from Hippopotomonstrosesquippediliophobia.