Simon Horobin 著 Does Spelling Matter? （堀田による邦訳『スペリングの英語史』も参照）で，いろいろな形で取り上げられているが，アメリカでは伝統的にスペリング競技会 "spelling bee" が人気である．
スペリング競技会の起こりはエリザベス朝のイングランドにあるが，注目される行事へと発展したのは，独立後のアメリカにおいてであった．Webster のスペリング教本 "Blue-Backed Speller" のヒットに支えられ，アメリカの国民的イベントへと成長した．Webster の伝記を著した Kendall (106--07) が，スペリング競技会の歴史について次のように述べている．
Webster's speller also gave rise to America's first national pastime, the spelling bee. Before there was baseball or college football or even horse racing, there was the spectator sport that Webster put on the map. Though "the spelling match" first became a popular community event shortly after Webster's textbook became a runaway best seller, its origins date back to the classroom in Elizabethan England. In his speller, The English Schoole-Maister, published in 1596, the British pedagogue Edmund Coote described a method of "how the teacher shall direct his schollers to oppose one another" in spelling competitions. A century and a half later, in his essay, "Idea of the English School," Benjamin Franklin wrote of putting "two of those [scholars] nearest equal in their spelling" and "let[ting] these strive for victory each propounding ten words every day to the other to be spelt." Webster's speller transformed these "wars of words" from classroom skirmishes into community events. By 1800, evening "spelldowns" in New England were common. As one early twentieth-century historian has observed:
The spelling-bee was not a mere drill to impress certain facts upon the plastic memory of youth. It was also one of the recreations of adult life, if recreation be the right word for what was taken so seriously by every one. [We had t]he spectacle of a school trustee standing with a blue-backed Webster open in his hand while gray-haired men and women, one row being captained by the schoolmaster and the other team by the minister, spelled each other down.
・ Kendall, Joshua. The Forgotten Founding Father. New York: Berkeley, 2012.
・ Horobin, Simon. Does Spelling Matter? Oxford: OUP, 2013.
・ サイモン・ホロビン（著），堀田 隆一（訳） 『スペリングの英語史』 早川書房，2017年．
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