Exploring the pathways of our lexicon
May 29, 2009By Ben Zimmer
In the grueling finale of the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee, 13-year-old Kavya Shivashankar of Olathe, Kansas emerged as the winner, beating out 10 other frighteningly good spellers. This was her fourth consecutive appearance in the finals of the Bee, and over the years she has gradually crept up to the top spot, moving from 10th to 8th to 4th to 1st place. She was inspired by Nupur Lala, winner of the 1999 competition (and one of the stars of the wonderful documentary Spellbound), and now she joins Nupur in the pantheon of great spellers. Congratulations, Kavya! Continue reading...