The Scripps Washington Bureau

News & Politics

Chart Positions

News & Politics 158

A reliable, honest and entertaining podcast about Washington D.C’s people, culture and politics.


Episode 36: Can Spelling Bee kids spell better than members of Congress? A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y

May 28th, 2014

Episode 61 of 279 episodes

"Can you spell logorrhea?" That's what DecodeDC asked Members of Congress and their constituents -- specifically those whiz-kid spellers who are in the nation's capital for the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. Turns out, the answer is N-O; just about every US Representative we spoke with had no idea what logorrhea means (excessive wordiness), and not a single one spelled it correctly. Most admitted to relying heavily on spell check and their smartphone to pick the right word at the right time. Contrast that with this fact: when we spoke with dozens of kids in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, we had trouble finding one who couldn't spell logorrhea. Most correctly identified the word's roots (from the Greek word 'logos' meaning 'words' and 'rhea,' meaning 'to flow') and even knew its meaning. Ironic, you wonder, that a bunch of pre-teens in Washington could show-up their Representatives with a word that means, 'to spew words from the mouth'? We thought so too. Of course, there are plenty of big-brained lawmakers as well -- not that they'd challenge the super-spellers. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told us, "I am smart enough to know that I would be whooped in a moment!"

Featured Podcast