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From The New York Times’ ‘Spelling Bee’ to orthography, a look at all things spelling

Melodie Loya stands in front of a microphone on stage at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Maryland in 2019.
Alex Wong
Melodie Loya of Bainbridge, New York, tries to spell the word “madrague” during the fifth round of the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Loya correctly spelled “madrague.”

This hour: spelling — what it is, why it matters, and why some of us actually find it fun.

There will be a test.


  • Deb Amlen: Crossword columnist and senior staff editor of the crossword column Wordplay for The New York Times
  • Richard Gentry: Education consultant and the author, most recently, of the Spelling Connections series
  • Peter Sokolowski: Editor at large at Merriam-Webster and a member of the Word Panel for the Scripps National Spelling Bee

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Colin McEnroe, Taylor Doyle, Jacob Gannon, Jonathan McNicol, Cat Pastor, and Lily Tyson contributed to this show, which originally aired December 6, 2022.

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Jennifer LaRue is a freelance writer, editor, publicist, and producer. She’s written about health and travel for The Washington Post, published four children’s picture books, and hosted hundreds of virtual author talks during the pandemic. She’s a little bit giddy about producing for The Colin McEnroe Show.
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