National Spelling Bee: Could you spell these 10 winning business words?

In the National Spelling Bee’s 85-year existence, a wide range of words have crowned the winners – from science words like ‘crustaceology,’ to musical terms such as ‘soubrette,’ and ‘appoggiatura.’ The list of winning words also includes several that could slide right into the pages of this newspaper’s business section. In honor of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee, here are 10 business words from past years that have determined the champion. Will this year’s winning word make the list?

1. Interning

Evan Vucci/AP
Malie Queta Curren, of Tetonia, Idaho, reacts when she hears her word during the third round of the National Spelling Bee, Wednesday, May 30, 2012, in Oxon Hill, Md.

Year: 1936

Champion: Jean Trowbridge (Des Moines, Iowa)

Definition:  (n.) The present participle of intern, which can mean, 1) to imprison someone without trial, 2) to internalize, or 3) to work as an intern, usually with little or no pay or other legal prerogatives of employment, for the purpose of furthering a program of education.

This third definition is the most common usage today, especially among ambitious high school and college kids. Back in 1936, however, it’s unlikely that the word “interning” brought to mind wide-eyed workplace hopefuls enthusiastically running to the Xerox machine. Many winning National Spelling Bee words, especially from the early years, are common parlance today, though they likely weren’t at the time. It’s highly possible that Jean Trowbridge had never even heard the word “interning.”

Used in a Business page sentence: Interning at a major fashion magazine can be a great opportunity for experience, but not so much for earning actual money.

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