Thursday, May 30, 2013

ELEVEN FANTASTIC SPELLERS REMAIN: Join us for our liveblog of the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship:


  1. sheila8:36 PM

    Any idea why it says the event is full?

  2. Sherri C8:46 PM

    It's full?! Waaaaa. Let me in!

  3. Showing as full for me as well.

  4. Maggie9:04 PM

    So bummed the live blog is full.

  5. Cat Cojocaru9:06 PM

    Adam, can you let me in??

  6. Adam B.9:13 PM

    Try again!

  7. BeeFan10:51 PM


    So, another year I don't win the pool. Alas. Grace and Vanya, you both gave it your all.

    I still don't like the "funny" sentences.

    I'm glad they took the parents off the stage.

    Who actually likes all those endless features? Not just the speller bios, but the skits and so on. I've watched the Bee many times with non-bee-geeks and everyone considers them a waste of time, a delay in getting on with the real show. If bee-geeks don't like them, and non-bee-geeks don't like them, that doesn't leave a lot.

    Rather a strong field this year. Almost reminiscent of 2005-2006.

    I already said what I have to say about the point system in other posts. Succinctly, me no like.

    So Arvind didn't know Grace's word. Hmmm. Doesn't mean he wouldn't have guessed it, though.

    2014 favorites: Sriram and Vanya, I think.

  8. Jacob Devine3:19 AM

    Woulda won the pool if Sara hadn't gotten to my two guys first!

    Great year for the bee, but why did they go to such lengths to contain the competition (multiple written round cutoffs) and then give such easy words so that it stretched past the two hours? Oh Paige Kimble, you baffle me.

    (Also, give 'em 30 more seconds. Some of the time run-outs are just cruel. C'mon.)

  9. Cliff3:43 AM

    Maybe also Gokul, Syamantak, and a few others.

    I don't mind the fancy features or the details of the point system too much - the most important mechanic of any bee is a fair word list. I'd say the officials didn't do too bad in constructing it this year. While the semifinals fluctuated quite a bit in difficulty (the two extremes: "kleptocrat" vs "hallock" in round 5, "dolabriform" vs the much trickier "circensian" in round 6), I thought that the words in the finals increased pretty evenly in difficulty from one round to the next. This might be because the officials have to prepare up to 50 words of around the same difficulty for the semifinals compared to only 12 or less for the finals, so I suppose more variability is to be expected in the semis than primetime.

    About the funny sentences... I think they started including them sometime in the early 2000's, but it seems like they never actually help the speller. On occassion, a sentence can help clarify the pronunciation, but if the speller is struggling with the word, it seems like funny ones are just to entertain the crowd, unfortunately sometimes at the expense of the speller's focus. Your thoughts?

    I already can't wait for next year... sometimes I feel like word-addiction is rather detrimentally time-consuming. I'd better try some new hobbies this summer.

  10. Jordan8:53 AM

    I missed the Bee this year, so I only saw the end on SportsCenter this morning, but I take real issue to the final word. One, because it's a word I know how to spell, and no words in the competition should be like that. Two, and most importantly, they pronounced it wrong, taking away what makes it hard to spell. I don't know if they did alternate pronunciations, but I've never heard of a kin-ay-dull. ki-NAY-duh-leh? Then we have something.

  11. Marsha10:40 AM

    The kids who use all that time, you gotta think that they'd just run out that other 30 seconds too. Some kids (and with some words) will just take all the time given to them and that's just the way it is. They get ample warning.

  12. Jacob Devine11:44 PM

    Warning isn't the issue. It was better this year (fewer long words), but Gifton Wright (the Jamaican from last year) had barely figured out ericeticolous's pronunciation when his time was up, much less how to spell it. I've been up there--time dissipates quickly, and throwing the kids (none of whom are used to time constraints--regional bees never have them) a few more seconds won't hurt anyone.