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Ep. 9 - Dr. Jacques Bailly

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

"People think that there’s so much pressure on these kids. But you wouldn’t believe the joy when they hear that they’re going to get on tv. People think that’s pressure, but no, that is a reward for them."

A classics professor at the University of Vermont, Dr. Jacques Bailly serves as the pronouncer at the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee. A former champion speller himself, Dr. Bailly explains what goes into his role at the event, from introducing the words to supplying additional information such as definitions and language of origin to helping put the spellers at east to allow them to enjoy the event. In this episode, Dr. Bailly explains how the supplemental information he can provide helps the spellers, how much the spellers are supportive of each other and he will share a number of words that were fascinating to learn.

(Photos by Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee)

Below are Show Notes for Dr. Jacques Bailly

What Does a Spelling Be Pronouncer Do?, Merriam Webster

90 Years of Winning Words (Video)

1980 Runner up Paige (Pipken) Kimble is today Executive Director of Scripps National Spelling Bee

Dr. Brian Sietsema profile in NY Times (1993)

French playwright Victorien Sardou

Importance of schwa with Dr. Bailly and Dr. Seitsema (Video)

After 16 years, backup spelling bee pronouncer gets his shot, Associated Press 

List of English words with Hawaiian origin, Wikipedia  

List of German expressions in English, Wikipedia 

List of English words of Afrikaans origin, Wikipedia 

Dr. Bailly on Wikipedia 


Marcus Aurelius Mediations

A New Stoicism by Lawrence Becker

The Stoic Life by Tad Brennan

New Bee trophy, Cincinnati Enquirer

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