In case you missed it last night, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in spectacular fashion with 14-year-old Gokul Venkatachalam ensuring a tie with 13-year-old Vanya Shivashankar by throwing down “nunatak,” without asking for a definition. The boy had BALLS OF STEEL.

But of course, for us mortals, participating in a Spelling Bee rarely ends in glory. Here now are stories from readers about the words that crushed them and the spelling bee memories that have haunted them into adulthood. Read them and you will agree that words are evil and must be destroyed.