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Two hundred eighty-one young contestants took on the new-and-improved preliminaries of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which for the first time included questions about words' definitions along with their spellings. After the dust had cleared, 42 of them managed to make it to Thursday's semifinals.  Continue reading...
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It's time once again for the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and the big news going into this year's competition is the inclusion of vocabulary questions along with the traditional spelling questions. Even though the new multiple-choice questions testing contestants' knowledge of definitions will only appear in the off-stage computerized portions of the Bee, it's still a controversial shift in format.  Continue reading...
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In the wake of the Scripps National Spelling Bee's announcement Tuesday that vocabulary questions will now be included in the Bee, quiz yourself on sample questions here.  Continue reading...
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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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Blog Excerpts

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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1 2 3 4 5 Displaying 8-14 of 67 Articles