This year's Scripps National Spelling Bee, an annual spelling competition in the United States, was won on Friday by 14-year-old Anamika Veeramani from Ohio.
Lexicographical researchers have lauded this achievement as a major advancement in the study of the spelling of English words, and highlighted the importance of Veeramani's new discoveries in this field of research. She has been offered a $30,000 grant to conduct further study.
"Ms Veeramani has already made substantial progress with her impressive body of work," said Karen Gruntfuggly-Smith, a dictionarologist with the University of Springfield, and one of the Bee's organisers. "Her award is well deserved for the discovery of the correct spelling of 'stromuhr', and we are optimistic that she will be able to uncover many more exciting spellings previously unknown to science, with access to the right funding and resources."
Professor Gruntfuggly-Smith has been involved with the Bee since 1987, when the word "staphylococci" was successfully spelt for the first time by that year's winner. "That was really special to be a part of," she recalls. "I mean, what kind of state would modern medical research be in, if dedicated spellers hadn't made that fascinating discovery?"
"An untidy and borderline illegible one," she suggested.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee continues to grip the country's attention every year, and much stock is set in its potential for future discovery. It is hoped by some that future winners might finally provide us with answers as to how to spell "flocinocinihilipillification" or "parascavedekatreaphobia" correctly, perhaps even by the end of this decade.
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