Sean Hickey of Grass Lake, Mass. reacts as he misspells his word during round two of the preliminaries at the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee at National Harbor, Md. on May 28, 2014.
Gary Cameron—Reuters
By Dan Kedmey
May 28, 2014

The Scripps National Spelling Bee kicked off Wednesday with a live Twitter feed of the battle for spelling supremacy.

The fate of each speller is sealed with a tweet that records the word, its definition and whether the young spellers, ranging in age from 8 to 15, spelled it “correctly,” “incorrectly,” or in one unfortunate competitor’s case, “incorrectly” then “correctly” (he was still eliminated).

Logophiles (lovers of words) can get a sampling of a few stumpers, below. Some are actually not all that tricky.

#speller113 Mitchell Robinson spelled the word ‘Jacuzzi’ (used for a whirlpool bath and a recreational bathing tub) correctly #spellingbee

— NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) May 28, 2014

#speller145 Eboseremhen Eigbe spelled the word ‘gingivitis’ (inflammation of the gums) correctly #spellingbee

— NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) May 28, 2014

But most are sprawling, Latinate nightmares.

#speller238 Shobha Dasari spelled the word ‘liliaceous’ (relating to upright perennial leafy-stemmed bulbous herbs) correctly #spellingbee — NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) May 28, 2014

#speller230 Dwight Moore Jr. (TN) spelled the word ‘uliginous’ (growing in wet or swampy ground) incorrectly #spellingbee — NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) May 28, 2014

#speller224 Antonio Lansang spelled the word ‘ebulliometry’ (determination of boiling points of liquids) correctly #spellingbee

— NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) May 28, 2014

#speller218 Hussain Godhrawala (SC) spelled the word ‘unguiculate’ (having nails or claws) correctly #spellingbee — NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) May 28, 2014

And what happens after the young spellers are summarily booted out of the competition for a mistake? The organizers tweeted one picture that showed the competition may be tough, but it isn’t heartless.

Where spellers (like #speller54) go when they misspell. They’re greeted by one of our friendly staff members.

— NationalSpellingBee (@ScrippsBee) May 28, 2014


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