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Vocabulary Idol

vocab.jpg The show American Idol took up the top 3 places in the Nielsen ratings last week, and will likely do so again this week. But another show filmed this week, likely to be at least slightly less highly rated, was comparing itself—and its participants—to the ratings behemoth and its stars-in-the-making.

While The World Almanac often includes information about the National Geography Bee and the National Spelling Bee (check out page 733 of the 2007 edition for a list of the winning words from the last 25 years), I had never even heard of the National Vocabulary Championship until this week. Teens from around the country compete to prove whose vocabulary reigns supreme. And—just as when I watch the National Spelling Bee (seriously, can you spell autochthonous?)—I was awed by the words upon words stored in the brains of these kids. One even told the host of the contest he knew a synonym for 'synonym' (poecilonym). He was knocked out in the first round.

The finals and contestant profiles will appear on GSN on April 15. But the contest website has some sample questions that, if you ask me, are a lot easier than the ones contestants were challenged with. See if you can come close to making the grade.

National Vocabulary Championship
NVC Sample Questions
A Contest Where Competitors Flex Their Lexicons (NYT)

Flickr photo by Despotes (cc)


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