A FOND FAREWELL TO SPELL IT

Audio blog post by Dr. Isaacs. Click to listen and read along! In 2007, the website Spell It became the official Scripps word list for millions of aspiring spellers. This website served great purposes. It was the middle ground between shorter school lists that teachers used for classroom, school, and district bees, and the daunting Merriam-Webster Unabridged. More than a list of words merely to be memorized, Spell It contained words grouped by etymology (as suggested by the above picture). This grouping facilitated learning language patterns. For example, a search…

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WORDS OF THE CHAMPIONS AND PAIDEIA

A long, long time ago - but much closer than a galaxy far, far away - Scripps distributed a booklet to spellers each year entitled Words of the Champions. This booklet was the predecessor to Paideia, which itself was the predecessor to both Spell It. At that time, Words of the Champions was over 3200 words long. Roughly 1/6th of each year's list were new words for that year. The booklet also included recent National Spelling Bee winning words as well as words that knocked out last year's competitors. And for inspiration, pictures from the…

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