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Vocab questions lessen spelling bee to 3 letters: A, B or C

Vocab questions lessen spelling bee to 3 letters: A, B or C

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — The Scripps National Spelling Bee was rolling smoothly into with every one other accompanied by not here of the following day of its earliest completely in-person competition inside trio years. Then it transformed into the SAT.

An onstage lexicon circular all over Wednesday's semifinals introduced an element of randomness into the venerable bee, forcing spellers to demonstrate a different skill place accompanied by every one one other accompanied by knocking not here some of the bee's most accomplished competitors.

Vivinsha Veduru accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Roy Seligman, who tied for fourth place inside last year's bee: gone. Deetya Vuppala accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Yash Shelar, the co-champions of this year's expert-level SpellPundit online bee: excessively gone. All denied a report at Thursday's finals lacking spelling a word incorrectly.

"I idea it was tragic," said Grace Walters, a bus to multiple foregoing Scripps champions.

Walters' only pupil this year, four-time bee participator Harini Logan, made it into with every one other accompanied by not here of the lexicon circular accompanied by every one one other accompanied by was one of a dozen finalists. She'll exist joined on phase Thursday darkness by Sahasrad Satish, Ekansh Rastogi, Vikram Raju, Aliyah Alpert, Abhilash Patel, Sahana Srikath, Kirsten Santos, Nitya Kathiravan, Vihaan Sibal, Shijay Sivakumar accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Saharsh Vuppala — Deetya's twin brother.

For numerous spellers, the multiple-choice lexicon questions took away their chance to use the skills they've honed over years of study: asking questions of the judges to assist small part a word together; identifying roots; deducing which vowel makes the dreaded "uh" sound known while a schwa.

"The words that are occasionally asked may not necessarily exist based on roots or easily decipherable, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by so inside that instance it becomes a instance of which kids are natural readers accompanied by every one one other accompanied by have a a large amount of ethnic capital, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by which kids aren't while culturally sophisticated," said Scott Remer, a former speller who coached 21 competitors this year, including Saharsh accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Deetya. "Some words you're only going to pick up by perusal newspapers, by perusal sure books, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by are not necessarily guessable."

Yash was knocked not here on "Stockholm syndrome," a phrase that can't exist parsed via a speller's expert knowledge of how sounds are constructed inside various languages. Vivinsha didn't know "ragout" was a sauce. Deetya was specified "ergogenic," accompanied by every one one other accompanied by Roy's provide to become the earliest champion from The Bahamas ended when he was asked to define "rumbustical."

"With the word meaning, it's a crapshoot," said Arthur Seligman, Roy's father. "You accompanied by every one one other accompanied by I know what 'Stockholm syndrome' means, nevertheless an 11- or 12-year-old?"

Chris Dominick, an excitable 14-year-old from Struthers, Ohio, illustrated the grab-bag quality of the lexicon circular when he was specified "leitmotif" accompanied by every one one other accompanied by exclaimed, "I know what this is!"

A reliable narrator, Chris didn't build it into with every one other accompanied by not here of the following spelling round. He was specified "sirtaki" — a Greek trip — accompanied by every one one other accompanied by said, "OK, I exist convinced by I'm going to obtain not here on this one." And he did, following guessing the word started accompanied by a "c."

"Goodbye, cruel world," Chris said following hearing the bell.

Vocabulary has lengthy been small part of the bee, nevertheless only on written tests. The bee's new administrative director, J. Michael Durnil, who took over inside 2021, added it to the exist spelling rounds when a trial became impractical all over last year's mostly virtual, pandemic-altered competition.

"This is Scripps' way of ensuring that the competition does not become concerning memorizing words exist fond of code," Walters said. "Putting inside a vocab segment, it almost forces intimacy accompanied by language since you have to know what those words mean."

Although spellers had to answer a lexicon question all over Tuesday's preliminary rounds, it was sandwiched inside the centre of place of set of two words they had to spell. The semifinals, then, were the earliest hour dated that so numerous spellers — 31 at the begin of the lexicon circular — had to stand inside front of the microphone accompanied by every one one other accompanied by pick one of trio possible answers on a screen inside front of them.

Some knew the answers fair away. Some didn't, accompanied by every one one other accompanied by had to violently calculate — A, B or C. And that was that.

Vihaan, a 13-year-old from McGregor, Texas, who's inside the finals for the following time, was asked to define "vermillion" accompanied by every one one other accompanied by noted that every one one multiple-choice option he was specified was a color. He was shocked to see Roy knocked out.

"I know he's a really strong speller. Probably stronger than me," Vihaan said.

Harini, a 14-year-old from San Antonio, Texas, was one speller who kept her cool throughout, flat when pronouncer Jacques Bailly made a infrequent flub, at earliest leaving a syllable not here of "quinquefoliolate," the word that got her into the finals.

Much exist fond of her mastery of language, Harini puts prosperity of labour into her onstage sangfroid.

"Even though I am stressed inside the moments leading up to getting my word, while inside a short hour dated while I obtain my word, I fair try to place myself into a intelligent procedure where I tin really exist inside be in touch calm," she said.

___

Follow Ben Nuckols at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols

Vocab questions lessen spelling bee to 3 letters: A, B or C

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