Thursday, May 29, 2014


It's that time of year again.  Time for the Scripps National Spelling Bee!  Started in 1925, this annual tradition is going strong with 281 finalists this year.  The last winner from New Mexico was Blake Giddens in 1983 with the word "Purim".

Photo Credit
You can explore behind the scenes with the Oscar nominated documentary Spellbound, which follows competitors of the 1999 spelling bee through preparation and the finals.  There's also the more mainstream Akeelah and the Bee.

The spelling bee can draw on words from all languages, but if your interest is whetted, the library has a number of books on etymology, including:

Spell It Out: the Curious, Enthralling and Extraordinary Story of English Spelling
Spellbound : the Surprising Origins and Astonishing Secrets of English Spelling
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: the Untold History of English
Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 pages.

Lastly, there's always The Professor and the Madman about the collaboration which led to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Last year's winning word was "knaidel".  Tune in to ESPN at 6 p.m. (or watch the live stream) to watch the finals and root for this year's stellar spellers!

1 comment:

dullibrarian said...

The championship was shared by 2 spellers for the first time in 52 years.