National Spelling Bee down to 9 finalists


A thread for the Thursday night playoff action (and the spelling bee).

Los Angeles will not have a local to root for as the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee kick off Thursday morning near the national's capital.

As someone who spent a lot of time with the orange tabloid spelling bee word lists in elementary school (fifth-grade champ!), I enjoyed this Quora thread asking, “Is being a spelling bee champ really anything to crow about?”

The star of the bee so far is 6-year-old Lori Anne Madison of Woodbridge, Va., the youngest-ever contestant in the national bee. She accurately spelled the word “dirigible” in the second round. And here's the whole list, complete with which word was

I was just stressed. It was a really, really long wait,” Lori Anne says. “Overall, it was just boring. Really boring! Really boring!”

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