Boston Daily Gets Competitive

1192202943We like to think we’re pretty good with words. Some of us have even had our masterful use of language featured in the dictionary. So we’re both nervous and excited to participate in our first Define-a-Thon, Houghton Mifflin’s new game for word lovers.

“It’s like a spelling bee, but with words. And it’s multiple choice,” explains American Heritage Dictionary Senior Editor Steve Kleinedler, who will MC the Define-a-Thon at the Boston Public Library on Tuesday. He will read a definition, then give contestants four words to choose from, and they will get more challenging until there’s a winner.

“We wanted to move beyond spelling bees, but still tie into the dictionary,” Kleinedler told us.

Define-a-Thons are popular with men and women of all ages, and they can bring out a huge crowd. Witness one held at the Brattle Theater that brought out about 200 contestants, so many, in fact, the competition had to go through several heats. But who does best in Define-a-Thons?

“Librarians and classics majors,” Kleinedler says.

Despite the fact that we’re not classics majors, and we have never worked in a library, we have accepted Houghton Mifflin’s challenge to participate in Tuesday’s competition. We’ll report back on Wednesday, with news of what we hope will be our stunning victory.