The youngest contestant to participate in 2016’s National Spelling Bee was Akash Vukoti, a 6 year old Texan who made it to round 3 of the competition. In this video from Vox, Vukoti explains what contestants are allowed to ask — alternate pronunciation, language of origin, definition, part of speech, hearing the word used in a sentence, and for the word to be pronounced again — in order to help them decode how the word might be spelled.
He also spells his favorite word, which also happens to be the longest word in a major dictionary: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. The 2010 Oxford Dictionary of English defines this word as “an artificial long word said to mean a lung disease caused by inhaling very fine ash and sand dust.”
Next, TED Ed’s Making Sense of Spelling and a pronunciation of the United Kingdom’s longest place name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
Related reading: A viewer’s guide to the 2016 National Spelling Bee.
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