• i before e, except after c

    The theme of our Sunday Crossword puzzle this week was "I BEFORE E"S" by Jack McInturff.   If you are interested it is Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis.  I am sorry there is no number reference.  However it is the Sunday paper dated March 13, 2011.

    I digress...the theme brought to mind the actual "i before e" rule that we all learn in grammar school.  You didn't? I am amazed.  Maybe, you skipped grammar school or were not paying attention:)

    The Rule:
    i before e, except after c;
    and as sounded as "a" in neighbor and weigh.

    This is where I come in.  My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Davis, gave us a sentence to memorize. It covered all of the exceptions to this rule.

    Are you ready?  Here goes: 
    "Their weird financier seizes neither science nor leisure at its height."

    Aha, I found an exception to the rule that is not in this sentence: Protein. (Check out this link)

    Check them out on Dictionary. com.

    and that is my tip for this day....


  1. I received a wonderful email from Roger/UK after this post. It has great information and begged to be shared with you:
    "Their, foreign, neither, science, leisure, and height don't actually break the rule as the "ei" doesn't actually say "ee". It's important when teaching the rule to make sure to include "When you want to say ee it's ........".
    Depending on how you pronounce them, "weird" and "financier" you might also consider that the rule doesn't apply to them as there is a hint a double syllable there: "wee-ird" and "financee-ir". In the UK "neither" can be pronounced "neether" or "nyther" (the y rhyming with the i in tiger).
    As you surmise, spelling rules aren't a lot of use and some of them are so complicated that they can be confusing."

  2. and my comment back to Roger/UK:
    "Thanks for all of the good info! I should have had you for an English teacher.

    Still I love my teacher's rule! It brings back good memories. However, if I remember correctly, no one wanted to be in Mrs. Davis' room. She was too hard on you! :) As usual, on hind sight you are glad for all of the Mrs. Davis'!"

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