Friday, 4 February 2011

i before e except after c

The difficulty of spelling English words containing i and e is clarified by this simple rule. Isn't it?

In fact is has been estimated that there are 923 exceptions to this rule and have i before e after a c. About 21 times more words break the rule than obey it.

Another version of the rule seems to be much more reliable, and rarely seems to fail. Try "i before e except after c, but only if it rhymes with key".

1 comment:

Ian Goudie said...

According to The Complete Word Book by Mary A. DeVries, this is the entire "i before e" spelling rule:

Use i before e except after c or when sounded like a as in neighbor or weigh; and except seize and seizure and also leisure, weird, height, and either, forfeit, and neither.