11th ÉTS Dictation 

Unpronounceable words, improbable facts and unalterable rules 

Monday, March 25, 2019
yanick villedieu journalist
Yanick Villedieu, author and reader of the ETS Dictation (photo: Jacques Robert)

Did you know that Dmitri Mendeleyev, the creator of the periodic table of the elements, liked to wear an orange ascot with a red shirt? Approximately sixty attendees learned that and other facts during the 11th ÉTS Dictation, which was held on March 21, 2019. It goes without saying that Yanick Villedieu, a well-known scientific journalist and the author of the Dictation, put his imagination into overdrive as he wrote it! In other words, one should not believe everything one reads. 

Selected to highlight the 150th anniversary of the periodic table of chemical elements, the theme for this year caused major headaches for students with its list of unpronounceable chemical elements, like “darmstadtium” and “eka-radium”, whimsical pronominal verbs and colourful adjectives that – surprise, surprise – never matched in gender or number. Despite all of this, the best and brightest managed to escape with six spelling mistakes. 

The 11th Dictation also allowed us to study the student of the 21st century from an anthropological perspective: The hand has lost the ability to write with a pencil! In fact, several breaks had to be taken to relax aching muscles in the hand caused by manipulating lead pencils. 

Following the Dictation, participants were given an opportunity to expand their knowledge of the periodic table, thanks to the documentary entitled “Mysteries of Matter”, from ARTE. A question-and-answer game hosted by Hugo Bélisle from the General Education Service shone a new light on some of the chemical elements that make up the periodic table. 

Thank you, Mr. Richard! 

The ÉTS Dictation was the brainchild of Jules Richard, an Instructor at ÉTS. The 11th Dictation will be the last for Mr. Richard, who will be retiring from the teaching profession in May. ÉTS would like to extend its sincere thanks to him for his commitment, and we wish him all the time in the world for reading, walking, meditation and travelling. 

For more information: 

  • To see for yourself the complexity of the traps set by Yanick Villedieu, we encourage you to consult the Dictation entitled Éloge bien senti du tableau périodique (heartfelt praise for the periodic table).
Guyllaume Rousseau (winner of the ETS Dictation), Andoni Claverie, Marie-Ève Noël (Druide informatique) and Jules Richard.


1st prize: 
Andoni Claverie 
Cash prize of $1,500, or $3,000 to be applied against tuition fees
Sponsor: ÉTS 

Romain Leygonie, Dominique Pinard (sustainable development advisor) and Marie-Ève Noël (Druide informatique). 

2nd prize: 
Romain Leygonie 
$350 prize from the AÉÉTS Sustainable Development Fund, along with Antidote language correction software and Le Grand Druide thesaurus.
Sponsors: Druide Informatique and AÉÉTS Sustainable Development Fund

Kevin Ignatowkz and David Patenaude (Coop ÉTS).

3rd prize: 
Kevin Ignatowkz
Antidote language correction software and Le Grand Druide thesaurus, along with a $250 gift card redeemable at the ÉTS COOP 
Sponsors: Druide Informatique and ÉTS Coop 

Maël Darchen, Adrien Gasté, Marie-Ève Noël (Druide informatique), Jules Richard and Magali Bonhomme.

4th prize: 
Magali Bonhomme 
Antidote language correction software and a one-year subscription to Le Devoir newspaper. 

5th prize: 
Adrien Gasté
Antidote language correction software and a one-year subscription to Le Devoir newspaper. 

6th prize: 
Maël Darchen 
Antidote language correction software and a one-year subscription to Le Devoir newspaper. Sponsors: Druide Informatique and Le Devoir newspaper


Catherine Bachaalani and Jules Richard.

Staff award: 
Catherine Bachaalani 
$400 prize awarded by the ÉTS faculty association.

Chantal Crevier 
Conseillère en communication ÉTS 
514 396-8800, poste 7893

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