The 77th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is unfolding this week in Washington, D.C., pitting 265 top entrants from across the country in a three-day ‘make a mistake and you’re out’ ‘spelldown’ to determine the country’s best school-age (9-15) speller — the last one left standing after correctly spelling a wide range of both popular and uncommon words.
For those hoping to qualify and/or prepare for a future ‘Bee,’ there are a variety of free, PDF-based study aids available to help polish one’s spelling skills, including Merriam-Webster’s ‘Dictionary of Prefixes, Suffixes, and Combining Forms‘ [PDF: 1 MB] that ‘provides entries for prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms’ taken from Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, copyright 2002.
Another valued resource is the ‘Consolidated Word List‘ (excerpted at right), a compilation of more than 100 Scripps National Spelling Bee word lists dating as far back as 1950. According to the description, it contains 23,413 unique words — parts of speech, language origins, pronunciations, definitions, and sentences are provided for 10,139 of these words.
You can also download the Contest Rules [PDF: 156kb] for the annual educational event.
The 2004 winner will be named on Thursday, June 3.