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Got Your Six

Starting this year, Scripps National Spelling Bee contestants not only have to spell words correctly. A controversial new rule means they’ll have to answer vocabulary questions, too. Also, when it comes to reading text, do you prefer...

New Spelling Bee Rules

The Scripps National Spelling Bee, long beloved for its youngsters stammering out words like appoggiatura, is about to change this year, when they’re also forced to define words like appoggiatura. Officials added two rounds of computerized...

Obscure Spelling Words

Why do spelling bees in the United States use so many bizarre, obsolete, ginormous, and Brobdingnagian words? Webster’s New International Dictionary, 3rd Edition, published in 1961, is still the standard for spelling bees, and thus contains...

FOMO

FOMO  n.— «A lot of giving can be attributed to what my sister refers to as F.O.M.O—the fear of missing out. For a max contribution along with a handsome check to the party committee, a mucky-muck can buy stock early in a candidate...

wrap-around

wrap-around  adj.— «I discovered another term for network airing of the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments Friday morning: wrap-around coverage. Rather than focus on a single game, ESPN will switch among several games while...

have one’s hazards on

have one’s hazards on  v. phr.— «Last column’s treatise on baseball pants pockets prompted some good responses, many of them chiding Uni Watch for not mentioning that having an inside-out pocket is often referred to as “leaving your...

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