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最終更新時間: 2024-05-22 11:34

2023-06-21 Wed

#5168. なぜアメリカで "spelling bee" が大人気なのか? [sobokunagimon][ame][spelling][spelling_bee][webster]

 「#3082. "spelling bee" の起源と発達」 ([2017-10-04-1]) で,アメリカでは "spelling bee" というスペリング競技会が国民的人気を誇っている.正式には Scripps National Spelling Bee と呼ばれる.イギリスなどその他の英語国でも対応する競技会はあるが,アメリカの熱狂的な人気には及ばないようだ.Horobin (199--200) より,spelling_bee の沿革を説明する箇所を引用する.

The spelling bee began in the 1700s, forming a key part of a child's education. By 1800 spelling bees came to be viewed more as social entertainment; such frivolous pleasures were frowned upon by the Puritans who rebranded them as spelling 'schools' in an attempt to re-assert their educational focus. Spelling bees gradually fell out of favour in New England society, but were preserved within a frontier culture for whom correct spelling was still considered an index of education and social status. The publication of The Hoosier Schoolmaster (1871) led to a craze in spelling contests, following which the term spelling bee was introduced. The use of the word bee to refer to a social gathering of this kind, often with a specific purpose in mind, such as apple-bee, husking bee, or the more sinister lynching-bee, is based upon an allusion to the social character of bees themselves. But while these gatherings were social, they were also highly competitive, as the alternative name 'spelling fight' makes clear. The first national spelling bee was introduced in 1925, subsequently rebranded the Scripps bee in 1941, and is still going strong today. . . . The popularity of the spelling bee is far greater in America than it is in Britain. The British equivalent, the BBC's Hard Spell, was a short-lived innovation, while British schools rarely engage in the spelling bees that are such an integral part of American society.


 では,なぜアメリカで spelling bee がここまで人気なのか.イギリス綴字と一線を画するアメリカ独自の綴字が,綴字改革者であり愛国者でもある Noah Webster (1758--1843) によって導入され推進されたことは,英語史ではよく知られている.独立前後から独自の綴字を作り上げてきたという国民的記憶と自負が,アメリカでのスペリング競技会人気の背景にあるのではないかと私は睨んでいる.さらにいえば,合衆国憲法がまさにそうであるように,spelling bee は多民族国家アメリカにとって,いわば「国民統合の象徴」に近いものなのではないか.アメリカは,Webster から spelling bee に至るまで,綴字という目に見えるものを国民の遵守すべき規範として掲げることによって,国民どうしの結束を固め,保とうとしているのではないか.イギリスで spelling bee への熱狂が見られないことと対比して,このように考えてみた次第である.

 ・ Horobin, Simon. Does Spelling Matter? Oxford: OUP, 2013.
 ・ サイモン・ホロビン(著),堀田 隆一(訳) 『スペリングの英語史』 早川書房,2017年.

does_spelling_matter_front_cover_small


Referrer (Inside): [2024-01-01-1]

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2017-10-04 Wed

#3082. "spelling bee" の起源と発達 [spelling][ame][history][webster][word_play][spelling_bee]

 Simon Horobin 著 Does Spelling Matter? (堀田による邦訳『スペリングの英語史』も参照)で,いろいろな形で取り上げられているが,アメリカでは伝統的にスペリング競技会 "spelling bee" が人気である.
 スペリング競技会の起こりはエリザベス朝のイングランドにあるが,注目される行事へと発展したのは,独立後のアメリカにおいてであった.Webster のスペリング教本 "Blue-Backed Speller" のヒットに支えられ,アメリカの国民的イベントへと成長した.Webster の伝記を著した Kendall (106--07) が,スペリング競技会の歴史について次のように述べている.

   Webster's speller also gave rise to America's first national pastime, the spelling bee. Before there was baseball or college football or even horse racing, there was the spectator sport that Webster put on the map. Though "the spelling match" first became a popular community event shortly after Webster's textbook became a runaway best seller, its origins date back to the classroom in Elizabethan England. In his speller, The English Schoole-Maister, published in 1596, the British pedagogue Edmund Coote described a method of "how the teacher shall direct his schollers to oppose one another" in spelling competitions. A century and a half later, in his essay, "Idea of the English School," Benjamin Franklin wrote of putting "two of those [scholars] nearest equal in their spelling" and "let[ting] these strive for victory each propounding ten words every day to the other to be spelt." Webster's speller transformed these "wars of words" from classroom skirmishes into community events. By 1800, evening "spelldowns" in New England were common. As one early twentieth-century historian has observed:

The spelling-bee was not a mere drill to impress certain facts upon the plastic memory of youth. It was also one of the recreations of adult life, if recreation be the right word for what was taken so seriously by every one. [We had t]he spectacle of a school trustee standing with a blue-backed Webster open in his hand while gray-haired men and women, one row being captained by the schoolmaster and the other team by the minister, spelled each other down.


 綴字と発音の乖離がみられる英単語のスペリング競技会で勝つためには,並外れた暗記力と語源的な知識が試される.ある意味で,英語らしいイベントといえるだろう.

 ・ Kendall, Joshua. The Forgotten Founding Father. New York: Berkeley, 2012.
 ・ Horobin, Simon. Does Spelling Matter? Oxford: OUP, 2013.
 ・ サイモン・ホロビン(著),堀田 隆一(訳) 『スペリングの英語史』 早川書房,2017年.

does_spelling_matter_front_cover_small


Referrer (Inside): [2023-06-21-1] [2017-10-07-1]

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