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A missed letter ‘s’ proved to be Rose Sloan’s downfall in the Scripps National Spelling Bee Thursday morning in Washington, D.C.

The Roosevelt Middle School 8th grader left out an ‘s’ while spelling “carnassial,” which refers to “a tooth adapted for tearing apart flesh.”

Sloan was one of just 59 contestants still standing Thursday morning.

“We’re very proud of her,” said school principal Joanne Trahanas. “Her goal was to make it to the third round, so she met her goal.”

Trahanas said that many of Sloan’s Roosevelt classmates were watching her on ESPN Thursday morning.

“We had it up in the library learning center, which is the only place we have cable,” said Trahanas. “Whatever classes that could [fit] in there were watching.”

Besides being on cable television Thursday morning, Sloan was the subject of Mark Brown’s Thursday column in the Chicago Sun-Times, in which he recalled his own spelling bee misstep years ago in district competition. Brown misspelled “cemetery.”

“Don’t forget the “y” in spondylitic,” Brown wrote helpfully to Sloan.

No reference to that second ‘s’ in carnassial, though.

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