2015 NATIONAL SPELLING BEE, DAY 2

After a preliminary written test in which this year's competitors were asked to spell words ranging from collateral to perruche, and answer vocabulary questions like "When people expatiate, they...", all took the stage to spell aloud for the cameras. Round 2 was composed of words taken exclusively from Spell It, which is a word list comprising approximately 1150 words. Aside from a 450-word school list that changes every year, this list is the main list provided to spellers by Scripps, and it has not changed in years. As such, Round…

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2015 NATIONAL SPELLING BEE, DAY 1

As seems to happen every year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has taken on some new twists, the likes of which send some spellers and parents to ask me if I'm familiar with the changes. In most cases, I have to tell them that no, this is just as new to me as it is to them. Some things remain comfortingly the same: Dr. Jacques Bailly's avuncular presence as the pronouncer, executive director Paige Kimble's confident smile greeting everyone at the beginning of the morning, program manager Corrie Loeffler's pleasant and sure…

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