'"Can you spell logorrhea?"
That's what DecodeDC asked Members of Congress and their constituents -- specifically those whiz-kid spellers who are in the nation's capital for the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Turns out, the answer is N-O; just about every US Representative we spoke with had no idea what logorrhea means (excessive wordiness), and not a single one spelled it correctly. Most admitted to relying heavily on spell check and their smartphone to pick the right word at the right time.
Contrast that with this fact: when we spoke with dozens of kids in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, we had trouble finding one who couldn't spell logorrhea. Most correctly identified the word's roots (from the Greek word 'logos' meaning 'words' and 'rhea,' meaning 'to flow') and even knew its meaning.
Ironic, you wonder, that a bunch of pre-teens in Washington could show-up their Representatives with a word that means, 'to spew words from the mouth'? We thought so too.
Of course, there are plenty of big-brained lawmakers as well -- not that they'd challenge the super-spellers. Congressman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told us, "I am smart enough to know that I would be whooped in a moment!"
DecodeDC's foremost aim is to be useful. That means being a reliable, honest and highly entertaining source of insight and explanation. It also means providing multimedia coverage of Washington's people, culture, policies and politics that is enlightening and enjoyable. Whether it's a podcast, a video, an interactive graphic, a short story or a long analysis, it will be based on this guiding principle: We are in DC but not OF DC.