What Makes The Spelling Bee So Hard

What Makes The Spelling Bee So Hard

This week, 291 children, ranging from a single kindergartner to 124 eighth-graders, will assemble in National Harbor, Maryland, for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Since 1996, young spellers have attempted to spell over 14,000 words — from abactor to zymurgy. Twenty-five percent of those words, over 3,500, have been misspelled. Oliver Roeder sifts through all 21 years’ worth of errors, looking for reasons that some of the best spellers in the world stumbled when the stakes were highest.

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