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Since we launched the Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee this past summer, we've been delighted to see how much you've all been playing it. The numbers tell the tale: so far about 500,000 words have been spelled by about 15,000 players. All of that player data has allowed us to improve the Bee on a continuous basis: every five minutes, words are rescored for difficulty taking into account the latest results from spellers. We've made some additional changes to fit the Bee to different skill levels, in order it make it an even more challenging and educational experience for players of all ages and abilities.  Continue reading...
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We're very pleased to announce a brand-new feature: the Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee! Taking advantage of our high-quality audio pronunciations, we've created a quiz that will sharpen your spelling skills and expand your vocabulary. And as everyone here in the office can attest, the quiz is downright addictive.  Continue reading...
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A hearty congratulations from all of us here at the Visual Thesaurus to Sameer Mishra, winner of the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee! Sameer, a 13-year-old from West Lafayette, Indiana, triumphed over his competitors by correctly spelling a very fitting word in the final round: guerdon, meaning "reward or payment." His reward was $35,000 in cash and various other prizes. The second-place finisher, Sidharth Chand of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, performed admirably on words like introuvable ("impossible to find"), but he eventually erred in spelling prosopopoeia, a personifying figure of speech.  Continue reading...
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The annual Scripps National Spelling Bee kicks off today, and every year there seems to be more and more public attention paid to this preeminent spectacle of word-nerdery. As in the past two years, tomorrow's semifinal and final rounds are being broadcast live on national television (semifinals on ESPN from 11 am to 2 pm, finals on ABC from 8 to 10 pm). It's always exciting to see middle-schoolers battle it out for the spelling crown, in a competition rife with dramatic "thrill of victory" and "agony of defeat" moments (most memorably depicted in the suspenseful documentary Spellbound). Adults can only marvel at the preternatural abilities of the young finalists to spell super-obscure words that most of us have seldom — if ever — come across. Where do they get those words, anyway?  Continue reading...
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A couple of weeks ago we ran the first part of our fascinating conversation with Professor Anne Curzan of the University of Michigan, an expert in the history of English and a member of the American Heritage Dictionary's usage panel. Here is part two of our interview -- a jaw-dropper for anyone interested in language -- where we focus on gender, spelling and much more:  Continue reading...
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English has some peculiar ways of spelling words, but happily there is often a method to its madness. This month in the Lounge we explore, with the help of the Visual Thesaurus, some of the least among us, at least in so far as number of letters is concerned.  Continue reading...
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7 8 9 10 11 Displaying 64-70 of 72 Articles