1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 71 Articles

For the fifth consecutive year, the Visual Thesaurus assisted the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses with its annual Spelling Bee supporting the work of independent literary publishers. As in past years, the VT supplied the words to challenge some of New York's leading literary lights, and this year singer-turned-memoirist Rosanne Cash emerged victorious.  Continue reading...
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An ongoing struggle in the English Language Arts classroom is improving students' spelling habits. We educators know that good spelling is a crucial skill; is there anything more likely to derail a résumé or essay than a spelling error? Yet it's also a skill that requires assiduous practice on the part of our students.  Continue reading...
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Celebrating Labor (and Labour) Day

On the first Monday in September, the United States observes Labor Day, while Canadians celebrate Labour Day. If you want to know why labour is the accepted spelling in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries like Canada, while Americans prefer labor (and color, favor, honor, humor, and neighbor), check out this classic Word Routes column by Ben Zimmer.
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Lead is the name of a metallic element. Pronounced a different way, it's a verb meaning to take someone somewhere. But the past tense of the verb, led, sounds like the name of the metallic element. Confusing enough? Let Julia Rubiner clear up the situation, with a little help from rock legends Led Zeppelin.  Continue reading...
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In the 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee, the words were as diabolical as ever, but Snigdha Nandipati of San Diego, California took it all in stride. When it came time to spell the final word, guetapens, a French-derived word for "an ambush, snare, or trap," she wasn't snared by its strangeness and calmly spelled it correctly.  Continue reading...
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The 85th Scripps National Spelling Bee kicked off yesterday, with 278 spellers getting whittled down to 50 semifinalists who will compete in the nationally televised action on Thursday. A precocious six-year-old didn't make the cut, but an old friend of ours, Nicholas Rushlow of Pickerington, Ohio, will be back in the thick of it for his fifth consecutive year.  Continue reading...
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The 2012 Spelling Bee is Here!

It's time once again for the Scripps National Spelling Bee! The preliminaries are today, and the nationally televised semifinals and finals are tomorrow (May 31). Visual Thesaurus editor Ben Zimmer will be live-tweeting the competition tomorrow on the VT Twitter feed and reporting on the results here in his Word Routes column. In the meantime, read Ben's observations on tricky spelling here and here, and try the super-addictive Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee!
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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 15-21 of 71 Articles