The Corner

But Can She Pronounce “Sotomayor”?

In a sensational breakthrough, a young lady of Indian ancestry (dot, not feather) has reached the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

According to the spelling bee Web site, Ramya is fascinated by linguistics and is eager to learn new languages. She is fluent in Tamil, a language spoken in India, Sri Lanka and Singapore, and informally teaches Tamil to the children in her neighborhood.

I bet lines form round the block to sign up for those lessons! And given that Tamils are liable to have names like Kantharatnam Shanthikumar, Kandiah Thirugnansampandapillai Francis, and Subbayya Sivasankaranarayana Pillai (who has a family of prime numbers named after him), a facility with spelling must come in handy.

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