Bee: Now tougher for nerds

National Spelling Bee will now include vocabulary VIDEO

Topics: Video, ,

Bee: Now tougher for nerds (Credit: Shutterstock)

Organizers of the Scripps National Spelling Bee announced on Tuesday that they would be adding multiple-choice vocabulary tests to the annual spelling competition. The televised onstage spelling rounds will remain the same (Read: stressful and terrifying to watch), but now the spellers’ scores will be combined with pre-administered vocabulary tests to determine the semifinalists and the finalists.

Have these sadists never watched “Spellbound”? Do they not understand how difficult it already is to be a child nerd? Where is their compassion? Where?

Nowhere, apparently. Organizers believe the vocabulary challenge will have spellers feeling “excited” at the new opportunity.

As the Associated Press reports:



Executive director Paige Kimble said the changes help reinforce the competition’s purpose — to encourage students to improve their spelling and broaden their knowledge of the language.

“What we know with the championship-level spellers is that they think of their achievement in terms of spelling and vocabulary being two sides of the same coin,” Kimble said. “These spellers will be excited at the opportunity to show off their vocabulary knowledge through competition.”

Vocabulary has been a regular part of the bee during its 87-year history, but it’s always been the spellers asking for the definition and getting the answer in order to help them spell the word.

Now the tables will be turned, with the spellers taking a computer test that looks like something from the SAT. A sample question provided by the Spelling Bee on Tuesday reads as follows:

“Something described as refulgent is: a) tending to move toward one point, b) demanding immediate action, c) rising from an inferior state, d) giving out a bright light.”

The correct answer is d.

Kimble told the Associated Press that the vocabulary portion of the competition may one day take place onstage, but she wants to try the computer format first.

Well, Paige Kimble, I ask that you please consider 13-year-old Akshay Buddiga while mulling your decision to apply more pressure to awkward geek spelling prodigy children. The results could be ugly:

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 13
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Api Étoile

    Like little stars.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Calville Blanc

    World's best pie apple. Essential for Tarte Tatin. Has five prominent ribs.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chenango Strawberry

    So pretty. So early. So ephemeral. Tastes like strawberry candy (slightly).

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Chestnut Crab

    My personal fave. Ultra-crisp. Graham cracker flavor. Should be famous. Isn't.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    D'Arcy Spice

    High flavored with notes of blood orange and allspice. Very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Esopus Spitzenberg

    Jefferson's favorite. The best all-purpose American apple.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Granite Beauty

    New Hampshire's native son has a grizzled appearance and a strangely addictive curry flavor. Very, very rare.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hewes Crab

    Makes the best hard cider in America. Soon to be famous.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Hidden Rose

    Freak seedling found in an Oregon field in the '60s has pink flesh and a fragrant strawberry snap. Makes a killer rose cider.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Knobbed Russet

    Freak city.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Newtown Pippin

    Ben Franklin's favorite. Queen Victoria's favorite. Only apple native to NYC.

    Clare Barboza/Bloomsbury

    Uncommon Apples

    Pitmaston Pineapple

    Really does taste like pineapple.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>