Wednesday, May 28, 2014

JOSHUA BRYANT KELLEY OF GADSDEN, ALABAMA, COME ON DOWN!  Round 2 of the Scripps National Spelling Bee has begun. Two rounds today, streaming online on ESPN3, and both are ding-and-you're-out.

There are two preliminary rounds today in which all 281 spellers will face the microphone, Dr. Jacques Bailly, and the cameras of ESPN3 online (in both "play along" and more aggressively chyroned versions). Spellers receive 3 points for each word spelled correctly today; add that number to yesterday's written round score, and the top up-to-50 spellers advance to the semifinals tomorrow.

You can follow along in a few places (in addition to here): the Bee website, and a few places on Twitter worth noting: @ScrippsBee, @PeterSokolowski @JGWhiteAP, and hashtag #SpellingBee.

[Last year, 266/281 of the spellers aced this round; success in round three was similarly attainable  (239/266), leaving the computerized test to perform the massive cut-down work before Thursday, as all the words came from a ~1500 word official study list.]

8:19am: And we're off!  15/15 so far, and both Yiddish (CHAHCH-kuh) and Afrikaans (spring-bahk) are already in play.

8:35am: 36/36, and nothing too difficult yet, really. Several kids explicitly asking "can you use it in a funny sentence?"

8:40am:  First elimination is KAYCE-hont, a medium-sized Dutch dog.

8:57am: 63/65 so far (a missing 'm' on kahm-ih-sahr), and many perennial words are back. We're on edelweiss now.

9:32am: 97/105 correct, with all the words being on this same, familiar level.

10:00am: We're at halftime of round 2; 128/140 are through to the next round. If you've followed the Bee before, these words were no surprise from alcazar to zucchini.

10:27am: For the second time in three years, segue is spelled like the vehicle. Oops. That and rhinoceros (extra 'u') are the first two errors of the second half.


  1. BeeFan8:38 AM

    This is like watching pro golfers make six-inch putts.

  2. genevieve8:53 AM

    Phillipic - a word I cannot hear separate from "simple desultory".

  3. Marsha10:20 AM

    I always feel bad for the kids who get the words that have a "literary name" origin. pahn-GLAHSS-ee-uhn isn't difficult, but others of its ilk certainly are.

  4. Genevieve10:34 AM

    Dog breeds can be tricky! Another kid went out on weimaraner.

  5. Marsha10:37 AM

    I've often thought that the hardest part about the bee is spelling the words *out loud* (which I think is much harder to do than to write them out and be able to see them written). I bet we could learn a lot about how different brains process information by studying the various techniques these kids use (writing on their placard, tapping, etc) to help the unnatural process of spelling out loud to work better for them.

  6. BeeFan10:47 AM

    I remember Katie Kerwin McCrimmon suggesting that rhythm was important in oral spelling, and that it was no accident that a disproportionate number of spellers played musical instruments.

  7. Charles10:54 AM

    I always tried to imagine the word written on a page so that I could read the letters.

  8. Marsha11:02 AM

    So many dog breeds!

  9. Adam C.11:11 AM

    Ohmigod, Speller 218, Hussain Godhrawala (8 yrs old, youngest in Bee) just took the early lead in adorableness.

  10. Adam B.11:16 AM

    He did indeed. Meanwhile, Sriram keeps getting taller.

  11. Adam C.11:33 AM

    We have another contender, Kasey Torres, age 9 (speller 245).

  12. Adam C.11:40 AM

    That is some suit jacket on Brayden Kelley.

  13. Stefany11:40 AM

    Amazing Realtree jacket and tie - and so polite!

  14. Marsha11:44 AM

    Food word alert! wah-tuhr-ZOO-ee!

  15. victoria11:44 AM

    And just now: "Peccadillo -- That is *not* a dog."

  16. Marsha11:46 AM

    Am I right that the "correct" response from the judges is new? (Or perhaps just an early round thing?) It used to just be the lack of a ding that let you know you were right, right?

  17. Marsha11:55 AM

    If I were 14, I would want Victoria Allen to be my best friend.

  18. Devin McCullen12:00 PM

    In the "weird coincidences" dept., just noticed that the spellers from Ghana and South Korea got tripped up by commissar and apparatchik, respectively.

  19. That's Wyoming for you. Go Pokes!

  20. Genevieve12:55 PM

    But I misspelled it! Philippic. I think only because I wrote it on my phone. I hope. :)

  21. Dave S.1:40 PM

    Head Judge Mary Brooks is apparently not there because of an illness in the family so it may be the style of whoever is filling in.

  22. Marsha4:02 PM

    I don't think I've evern heard plehn-uh-poh-TEN-chee-eh-ree without "extraordinary and" preceding it.