Sunday, January 3, 2010

How to Spell "SCIESZKA"

Whew, it's taken months of laborious work (enough to keep me away from this blog and my family), but I think I finally figured out how to spell "Scieszka," as in Jon (or is it "John?").
Anyway, I came up with what has proven in early trials to be a promising mnemonic for spelling our outgoing Ambassador's name. Please bear with me while I work out the kinks:
1. You start with the word "science," as in the great Scieszkan Science Verse (sure to convert the science averse, by the way). Both words share the same initial four letters. Stop after #4:
2. Okay, next comes ska music, because it has to, right? So we get: S-C-I-E-S-K-A
3. Wait, not so fast. We still have that pesky "Z" to deal with, something that might be known as a "free radical" if we follow the science metaphor. That crazy, zany "Z" interrupts the rocksteady beat of S-K-A music by wedging itself between the "S" and "K." Thus, we get:
4. Voila! Now spelling "Scieszka" is a piece of cake, right? As you may have guessed, I've returned to the deep recesses of my linguistic laboratory, trying to decipher the actual pronunciation of "Scieszka." I've made some major breakthroughs and expect to reemerge in the winter of 2012 with exciting results.
In the meantime, here's a partial SCIESZKA acrostic (with sincere apologies to those who know their trocheedactyl from their pteradactyl):
It starts with an "S,"
A nod to the Stinky Cheese Man.
And follows with a "C,"
'Cuz only Scieszka can--
Can masterfully pull an "I,"
Which stands for irreverently wry,
Proceeded by "E," woops, excuse me,
(Interrupting this poem to say that Jon helps all Guys Read).
In case you missed it once, there's a second helping of "S,"
And now it's all too easy to say that Jon's the ________ .
Instead of that, I have a question.
What the heck is "Z" doing there?
Whenever people try to spell,
It ends up everywhere.
Oh, "K," I haven't forgotten
That you're the penultimate letter,
Who stands before "A" of "Ambassador, hey,
No one could have done it better!"
Many thanks to Mr. Jon Sciezka Scieszka, our esteemed inaugural Children's Literature Ambassador, for representin'!

Read more Scieszka appreciations at A Year of Reading blog by clicking here.