Auslaut, erysipelas, bougainvillea, aiguillette, pendeloque, palama, cernuous, odylic. All of those words are too easy to spell. Either that, or the kids competing in the Scripps Spelling Bee have just gotten too smart. In recent years, we’ve seen a few two-way ties at the top of the Spelling Bee leaderboard. But an eight way tie? That’s what happened last night. According to the experts and past winners, the words were a little too easy. But kids, with the help of books (and, of course, software), have also become better at preparing for the competition. From The Atlantic: The Youths Have Outsmarted the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

+ “In 2019, there just aren’t enough words in the dictionary to throw the competitors off their game. Gone are the days of winning words like luge or milieu—in its place are super spellers who have cracked the code on all things definition, origin, and context.” Esquire: Eight Kids Broke the Spelling Bee. No One Should Be Surprised at Its Implosion.

+ Quartz: The champions and winning words from 20 years of spelling bees. (You had me at covfefe…)