The gang over at Coudal Partners has uncovered a mystery concerning the winning word from the 2004 Scripps National Spelling Bee:
We don’t often traffic in conspiracy theories around here, but considering there are upwards of 250,000 words in the English language figure the odds of this: The dictionary.com “Word of the Day” for Wednesday, June 2 (as emailed to our own Dave Reidy’s inbox at 4:32 AM) was “autochthonous.” Less than 36 hours later, autochthonous was also the winning word in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Did someone at the Bee leak the elite championship word list to dictionary.com? Fresh Signals calls for an immediate and thorough investigation.
Congrats to CP for uncovering this and for their restraint in not using any bee puns in the write-up. So, what’s going on here? Is this 1) a coincidence; 2) someone from dictionary.com is part of the process for choosing words for the Bee, autochthonous stuck in their memory, and they made it word of the day; c) some fiendish cross-marketing scheme between the Bee and dictionary.com; or 4) a leak from the Bee to dictionary.com?
This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.