BLAME OUR PERSPICACIOUS READERS FOR NOTICING: This year, the championship finals of the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee not only won't be in D.C. (moving across the Potomac to National Harbor), but they apparently won't be on ABC either -- ESPN, according to the official website, will be covering it live on Thursday, June 2 (corrected) at 8:30pm. Now, mind you, this may be a good thing, if it means that the competition won't be so broken up by lengthy commercial breaks and profile segments, and instead be treated more like the afternoon rounds are -- like a competition. (We'll be here live, regardless.)
More good news? The larger location means the public can buy tickets for all rounds.
In other Bee news, two returning competitors to note today: Canada's Greatest Speller, Laura Newcombe, is back for her third and final time; and 2008 Shonda Fave speller Sriram Hathwar -- then the Bee's youngest speller ever at barely-eight -- is back for a third time, having bested the kid who deprived him in 2010. [The final three words in that Bee: brahnt-uh-FO-bee-uh (fear of thunder); eh-POK-uhl/EH-puh-kuhl (momentous); and vahy-TOO-puh-ruh-tiv (condemnatory).]