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These National Spelling Bee burns are B - R - U - T - A - L

Children Compete In Annual E.W. Scripps Spelling Bee Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images
Aja Romano writes about pop culture, media, and ethics. Before joining Vox in 2016, they were a staff reporter at the Daily Dot. A 2019 fellow of the National Critics Institute, they’re considered an authority on fandom, the internet, and the culture wars.

How do you spell 'S-H-A-D-E T-H-R-O-W-N'? Just ask the hardcore winners of this year's Scripps National Spelling Bee.

(Full disclosure: this reporter is a former National Spelling Bee contestant. I dropped out after misspelling "narcissist," which is a pretty good word to claim you've never heard before.)

For the third straight year, this year's Bee ended in a tie, after an intense 25-round stand-off between the co-winners. But if you think that stonewall sounds boring, think again: A clip has been circulating that memorializes a series of ice-cold moments near the Bee's end:

That ruthless warrior on the right is Texas fifth-grader Nihar Janga, who ultimately wound up tying with his calm and collected opponent, seventh-grader Jairam Hathwar, from New York. The 11-year-old Janga is the youngest contestant ever to win. Here he is celebrating:

Children Compete In Annual E.W. Scripps Spelling Bee
Nihar Janga celebrates a correct answer at the 2016 Scripps Spelling Bee.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Janga's unruffled co-champ Hathwar is no stranger to the Bee's ruthless competition; his older brother Sriram was the 2014 co-champion.

The Bee proved to be a good occasion for burns all around. The Scripps Twitter account also got in on the action after being confronted with this bit of rudeness…

…and crafted the perfect response:

The retort was so savage that @kchapman_88 promptly deleted their Twitter account.

But the Scripps Twitter didn't stop there, and maintained its unwavering stand for proper usage and grammar in the face of all who would tweet at it.

Yikes! If you're going to tweet the National Spelling Bee, make sure you check your attitude — and your spelling.

Meet the youngest competitor in this year's Spelling Bee