TIME spelling

‘Donut’ vs. ‘Doughnut:’ The Most Delicious Spelling Bee of All Time Rages On

Influx Productions—Getty Images

National Donut Day is upon us. Or is it Doughnut Day?

The American people have for 76 years now celebrated the first Friday in June as a day on which to consume fried rings of dough caked in sugar, icing, sprinkles, coconut and other delicious toppings. (or plain, if you like to keep it Old Fashioned).

But the controversy over what to call these unquestionably glorious baked goods has only grown more heated with time.

The Official Dictionary Spelling of the word in question—if you’re into that sort of thing—is “doughnut.” The expedited, simplified, Americanized spelling of “donut,” as Grammarist tells us, has been around since at least the late 19th century. It didn’t catch on, though, until late in the 20th century.

Why? That’s when Massachusetts-based chain Dunkin’ Donuts first started taking off — so thank (or blame) Dunkin’ for the popularity of the “Donut” spelling.

The shortened—dare I say, optimized—spelling, “donut,” is no longer limited to Uncle Sam’s back yard, either. Grammarist finds examples of its use as far away as New Zealand and, *gasp,* the hallowed shores of the UK, guardian of the English language.

From the UK Independent: “Was it because the blog outed their favorite little-known coffee and donut shack, bringing hordes of unwanted tourists to their undercover hangout?”

Whether you’re on #TeamDonut or #TeamDoughnut, let MONEY show you how to get your hands on a free delicious pastry snack this National Do(ugh)nut Day.

TIME Education

Scripps National Spelling Bee Ends With Two Champions

That makes it the first tie at the competition in half a century

There were two winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday, with both Sriram Hathwar and Ansun Sujoe proving so formidable in National Harbor, Md., that organizers ran out of questions.

In the final round, Hathwar, a 14-year-old from Painted Post, N.Y., correctly spelled stichomythia — a dramatic dispute between two actors. Sujoe, a 13-year-old from Fort Worth, had no problem with feuilleton — a special supplement of a European newspaper.

“I think we both know that the competition was against the dictionary, not against each other,” Hathwar told ESPN after the win. “I am happy to share this trophy with him.”

“I was pretty happy when I made the finals, and now I’m even happier that I’m a co-champion,” said Sujoe.

The result is the first tie at the event in half a century.

TIME Education

A Whirlwind of Words and Nerves at the National Spelling Bee

The Scripps National Spelling Bee commenced on Wednesday, quickening logophiles' hearts as the competition goes about its task of fulfilling or quashing the hopes and dreams of young wordsters. Here are some of the best emotional reactions to getting words right (and wrong) over the years


The National Spelling Bee Is Live-Tweeting Itself

National Spelling Bee
Gary Cameron—Reuters 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.

The National Spelling Bee is tweeting words so foreign, they might make a young speller feel "larmoyant" (given to tears or weeping)

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.

But most are sprawling, Latinate nightmares.

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.

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