Friday, January 22, 2010

Spelling through the ages

In my never-ending (or so it seems at this moment) quest to fill the Bee with entertaining and enlightening words, I stumbled across this list of words that have won the Scripps Bee over time.

It's interesting, for a couple of reasons. First, it's fun to look at which words were not particularly in vogue at different points in history. Can you imagine a time when people would not have known how to spell initials, or therapy? Those were the winning words in 1941 and 1940. I'd love to know what words people COULD spell then, that might be more of a challenge to us today.

The second thing that struck me about this list was the number of words that our Dover spellers rattle off seemingly without thinking twice: we've seen, in our own Bees, words like antediluvian, appoggiatura, troche, and odontalglia (which was one of our winning words). Dover's facility with words and word lists is probably related to the number of books we read as a community (the Dover Town Library has one of the highest circulation rates in the Commonwealth). It also reminds me that I have got to get back to work...!


Manas said...

i am training for a spelling bee this april in WI.

Kate said...

Good luck! I hope you find some good study aids here.