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It took 20 grueling rounds, but Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pennsylvania emerged victorious in the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee. The 41 semifinalists had been whittled down to 13 for the prime-time finals, and the last handful of contestants kept the competition going with round after round of flawless spelling. Sukanya outlasted them all, winning with the word cymotrichous, meaning "having wavy hair."  Continue reading...
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The 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee got underway yesterday, as the 275 entrants faced the early rounds of spelling stumpers. Only 41 will advance to Thursday's semifinal round, but we're happy to report that two of them are familiar faces to us: Nicholas Rushlow and Tony Incorvati, both of Ohio, are returning spellers who have told us how they use the Visual Thesaurus Spelling Bee for practice. We wouldn't want to play favorites, but, well... go Nicholas and Tony!  Continue reading...
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Blog Excerpts

The 2011 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 (June 2). 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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Recently I made a big gaffe in one of my columns. Despite the fact I read my columns over dozens of times, and then I have a peer edit, and then there's a Visual Thesaurus editor who reads and edits, I still misspelled the name of one of my favorite authors. (I also was chided for making up words, but as an author that's my creative prerogative and we can debate my taking that license another time.)  Continue reading...
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Some pet linguistic peeves are indulged, I find, not for reasons of clarity or grammatical soundness, but out of petty pedantry, habitual curmudgeonliness, or some kind of character disorder. On the other hand, I've been accused — affectionately, I hope — of excessive tolerance in such matters. But I have peeves of my own, one of which is the confusion over its and it's.  Continue reading...
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The new film The Kids Are All Right, directed by Lisa Cholodenko, owes an obvious debt of gratitude to The Who, even though the band's music doesn't appear on the soundtrack. The title is lifted from a classic song from The Who's 1965 debut album, which also served as the title of a 1979 documentary about the band. Discerning readers will notice a small but important difference: the song and the documentary were spelled "The Kids Are Alright." Did Cholodenko "correct" The Who's spelling?  Continue reading...
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Erin Brenner of Right Touch Editing provides "bite-sized lessons to improve your writing" on her engaging blog The Writing Resource. Here Erin wonders about the fate of spelling in the era of text messaging.  Continue reading...
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3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 67 Articles