Think you've got what it takes to spell words such as plutonomy, virucide or Listzian? How about Ouagadougou, epideictic or aurochs?
Better yet, can you also come up with their definitions?
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is underway and kids from all around the country are battling it out to determine who is America's top speller. This year, the bee comes with an added twist: participants are tested on vocabulary as well as spelling. What's even more interesting is that the kids who have been preparing all year (or for many years) to compete at the national bee just found out about the vocabulary curve ball in April. Not a lot of time to learn the definitions of the thousands of words they have memorized for spelling.
But in this video from the Associated Press, Paige Kimble, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, explains that the aim of the new challenge is to "recommit the bee to its purpose, which is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, [and] learn concepts.
In the interests of science, I took the test. Bottom line: My spelling is not so hot, but I aced the definitions. (Whew! I'm not a total lost cause!)
Want to try the test? Head over to the Scripps National Spelling Bee sample test site.
Good luck to the kids who are heading into the championship finals tonight. You can cheer them on from home — and spell along with them — from 8-10 p.m. EST tonight over at ESPN.