I started off wondering whether I might be able to spell a few of the words right. I ended up realizing that most of them I had never even heard of before.
Iridocyclitis. Cibarial. Pyrrhuloxia. And so on.
It was one of the many surprises of an evening spent watching the finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee on Thursday night near Washington.
Another big surprise was how much I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I had expected to see a bunch of highly trained kids who've spent months and years memorizing the dictionary, essentially regurgitating that information.