Spellbound: Things We Love About the Annual Spelling Bee

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Marissa Rothkopf Bates on May 28, 2009 at 10:19AM

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What The Bee Says About Us

a Marissa Rothkopf Bates on May 28, 2009 at 10:19AM

Earlier this week, 293 whiz kids began competing for the title of master wordsmith at the 84th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. Thirteen-year-old Kavya Shivashankar from Olathe, Kan., won the contest, making "Laodicean," which means lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics, the winning spelling bee word for 2009.

What The Bee Says About Us
A look at winning words from past bees offers a mini-20th century history lesson. Imagine a generation of kids who found it difficult to spell “therapy.” In 1940, that was the winning word. When you consider that psychotherapy made it to the world stage in the mid-1920s, it starts to make sense.

In 1970, the winner had to have knowledge of the then-exotic “croissant.” Yes, it would be 13 long years until the croissant would become mainstream enough for Burger King to create its breakfast delicacy, the Croissan’wich.

For the complete list of winning words through the years, go to spellingbee.com

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