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A phonetic finish
'Monadnock' spells victory for Lanier Tech team
Spelling Bee 1 es
The Blonde Bombspells, from left, Donna Brinson, Kathy Davis and Carol Brown listen to their competition during the final round of Spell Check Live! 2008 on Tuesday at Forsyth Central High School. The team from Lanier Technical College won the event for the second year in a row. - photo by Emily Saunders

Could you spell "monadnock" on the first try?

The Blonde Bombspells from Lanier Technical College can -- and did.

By doing so, the three-woman team won the Forsyth County Certified Literate Community Program's Spell Check Live! for a second year in a row Tuesday night.

The spelling bee, held in the performing arts center at Forsyth Central High School, benefits the Certified Literate Community Program.

The Bombspells -- Donna Brinson, Carol Brown and Kathy Davis -- topped the United Way's Bee Givers in the final round.

Last year the Bombspells were called the Phonetic Fanatics. This year they out-spelled 10 other teams for the bee's top spot.

"Monadnock" is defined by Webster's as a "hill or mountain of resistant rock surmounting a peneplain."

Brinson said she studied a little bit and some of the words in this year's competition were repeats that stumped spellers last year.

"We had to defend our championship this year because Carol's moving," she joked.

While Brown may not return next year, Brinson and Davis said they likely will come back for a shot at a third title.

Stephanie Ferguson, who is working on her master's at the University of Georgia, served as the bee's wordsmith.

Ferguson repeated words and used them in sentences while participants nervously jotted alternate spellings of words on notepads in an effort to get them correct.

The teams came from a variety of entities and organizations, including local Rotary clubs, the Kiwanis Club of Cumming and the Forsyth County Friends of the Library.

They kept their spirits up as Ferguson challenged them with words like "ptyalism," "echolalia" and "bacchanalian."

One team asked Ferguson to pronounce a word "like someone from Cumming" while another, showing no shame, just asked for the spelling.

Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Buster Evans, Lanier Technical College President Michael Moye and Northside Hospital-Forsyth Administrator Lynn Jackson judged the competition, providing teams with definitions and word origins when asked.

Costumes also were part of the event.

Ellen Cohan, Carl Jackson and Connie McCrary decked out in fairy tale costumes to represent the Forsyth County school system as the Cinderspellers.

They tied for the best costume prize with the United Way's Bee Givers team of John Goode, James Benson and Skip Putnam, who dressed as babies.