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‘Koinonia’: Texas teen takes gold at National Spelling Bee

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In a worldly test of on-the-fly smarts, the Scripps National Spelling Bee crowned this year’s champ, 14-year-old Karthik Nemmani from McKinney, Texas, who sealed the deal Thursday night by correctly spelling koinonia — “the Christian fellowship or body of believers,” according to contest sponsor Merriam-Webster.

The knowledge on display at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland was too much for most adults. Even some computer spellcheckers couldn’t keep up with the words.

‘Koinonia’: Texas teen takes gold at National Spelling Bee
‘Koinonia’: Texas teen takes gold at National Spelling Bee

“These kids would beat the pants off most adults,” said linguist Grant Barrett, co-host of nationally syndicated public radio show “A Way With Words.”

Nemmani outlasted 12-year-old Naysa Modi, a seventh-grader from Frisco, Texas who tripped over the word bewusstseinslage — “a state of consciousness or a feeling devoid of sensory components.”

She typed it out on an imaginary keyboard, spoke the letters and closed her eyes, but she misfired.

The elder competitor was a cool customer who was there thanks to an “RSVBee” invitation. He nailed word after impossible word, including ankyloglossia — “limited normal movement of the tongue chiefly due to an abnormally shortened frenulum.”

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