Education: The $1,000 Word

From the underbrush of words that everyone knows but not everyone can spell (weird, harass), the 31st Annual National Spelling Bee had progressed to the dark, scary forest of such growths as distichous, objurgation, ephelis, abatis and coulisse, that few can spell and few, least of all the handful of youngsters still competing in the ballroom of Washington's Sheraton-Park Hotel, can translate into everyday English. In the second day and the 19th round of the spelldown, 13-year-old Betty Morgan, whose horn-blowing, flag-waving claque from Washington's St. Thomas Apostle School had cheered her through...

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