Jun 16, 2018, 7:50 AM
As a coach and a bee aficionado, I like to keep a close eye on the percentages and statistical trends that one finds through the careful analysis of words and their origins as they are given on the national stage. The 2018 Scripps National Spelling Bee was incredible, both from an entertainment perspective and an analytical perspective, to say the least.
Aug 24, 2017, 11:32 PM
New Latin is a complex etymology with a rich history and a deceptive name that often confuses spellers. Of the 211 words given in this year’s SCRIPPS National Spelling Bee finals, 84 (40%) were of Latin and/or Greek origin. Of those 84 words, 30 were formally classified as New Latin. That’s just over ⅓ of all words of Greco-Roman origin asked in the bee, so clearly New Latin has a profound presence in our modern spelling bees. It is growing in frequency and it is important for spellers to grasp its patterns and rules.
Aug 11, 2017, 9:30 PM
Eponyms have always spelled trouble for spelling bee participants everywhere. The definition of an eponym is a word based on a proper name, often a person’s name or a place name. Because these words come from names, and names have no set rules or patterns that govern their spelling, spellers are often vexed when they receive an eponym on stage. Often times, eponymous words are near impossible to figure out if a speller hasn’t heard the word or the name it stems from before; they’re tricky and unpredictable. (click for full article)