I am, by no means a queen of news stories. I'm not fast enough to add anything to the forum, so I generally figure that everyone else in this 'verse will cover that which needs covering. Such as the NYT article Are Book Reviewers Out of Print, which discusses the decline of print reviews and whether the Internet is an acceptable substitute. No, I'll leave the discussion and deep thought to esteemed Colleen Mondor of Chasing Ray.
However, being a total geek (if nothing has convinced you of this absolute in the past, I present Exhibit A: my recent binge of Battlestar Galactica...), who loves (among other things) WORDS, let me lead you to...another NYT article: Inspired by the Spelling Bee Comes the ‘Define-a-Thon’. Basically, I read this and said: I WANT! I WANT! THAT IS SOOO COOL!!! (and: can I make a teen program out of it? nah, I'm geekier than they are...but maybe...)
I've always been a really lousy speller (my 6th grade English teacher, Mrs. Murray, told my mother at parent-teacher conferences that I "would survive without being able to spell."), so spelling bees were a special torture, since just because I may not be able to spell (or pronounce - macabre, anyone?) the words, doesn't mean I don't know what they mean!! (the curse of a not-very-social reader) I have been playing this very game for YEARS! Well, without the multiple choice part. That would make the game SO much easier. In my world you have someone just blindly choose a word out of the dictionary and then you attempt to define it. Like Balderdash, without the board. I'm really not too bad at it. And yes, it DOES amuse me (now you believe me about being a geek, don't you.).
From The NYT:
"Houghton Mifflin created — and trademarked — the Define-a-Thon, which is modeled after a spelling bee but instead asks contestants to match words to definitions (and gives them a helpful list of words to choose from). The publisher has dispatched Steve Kleinedler, supervising editor at American Heritage, to hold events across the country."
and, most amusingly:
"For Mr. Kleinedler, who has a tattoo of the phonetic vowel chart on his back, it is not just about fun; it is about the business of making dictionaries seem sexy. Part of his job is to debunk the notion that lexicographers are “gray-haired people hunched over a drafting table who never see the light of day,” he said."
You know, if I were to get a tattoo... nah.