Kudos to 13-year-old He Li of Eden Prairie for nailing "approbatory" during this morning's preliminary round at the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
(ap•pro'•ba•tory adj. [rare] showing approval, commendation or praise)
Li is an eighth grader at Central Middle School, and is sponsored by Lockridge Grindal Nauen law firm in Minneapolis. The correct spelling gives Li a comfortable score as he heads into the quarterfinals this afternoon.
Hardcore Bee junkies can live stream today's competition from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at ESPN360.com. The finals air tomorrow night on ABC.
UPDATE: After a valiant effort, Li missed the word "senectitude" (the final stage of the normal life span) in Round 3 of the quarterfinals. The word doesn't even appear in my trusty Webster's New World College Dictionary, but apparently Scripps prefers a more robust reference book — so it doesn't get too, you know, easy.
The competition's remaining Minnesotan is Catherine "Cat" Cojocaru of Holy Spirit Catholic School in Rochester... Go Cat, and congratulations Li!