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Subject: A Handy Reminder About English Spelling rss

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John Bandettini
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John Bandettini
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Stephen Fry, on an old episode of QI, suggested that the rule, "I before E" is backward, and "E before I" is the more common condition.
If you ignore words (and not all words, again, do this) that drop the "Y" and add "ied" (tried, fried), how many words with 'IE' can you name?
I can think of "thief", and "pier" (and "pierce") off the top of my head, but there are plenty (as your graphic shows) of EI words out there.
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MABBY wrote:
Stephen Fry, on an old episode of QI, suggested that the rule, "I before E" is backward, and "E before I" is the more common condition.
If you ignore words (and not all words, again, do this) that drop the "Y" and add "ied" (tried, fried), how many words with 'IE' can you name?
I can think of "thief", and "pier" (and "pierce") off the top of my head, but there are plenty (as your graphic shows) of EI words out there.


Trouble is, "e before i" doesn't rhyme with "except after c"...
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Allen
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Also, "neighbor" is spelled wrong....
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John Bandettini
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sag0016 wrote:
Also, "neighbor" is spelled wrong....


Not really it's 'English' English rather than 'American' English
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wifwendell wrote:
Trouble is, "e before i" doesn't rhyme with "except after c"...


"E before I", unless it's not; who knows why?
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Larry Levy
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The way I learned the ditty, in full, is

"I before E, except after C,
Or when sounding like "A", as in neighbor and weigh."

That still doesn't cover all of the "EI" examples, but it helps.
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Larry Levy wrote:
The way I learned the ditty, in full, is

"I before E, except after C,
Or when sounding like "A", as in neighbor and weigh."

That still doesn't cover all of the "EI" examples, but it helps.

I find it works perfectly...with a little mispronunciation.
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"E before I, or I'll beat you 'til you die!"

"E before I, lest you make me cry!"

"E before I, or you won't rub my thigh!"

"E before I, give it a try!"

"E before I, my tear ducts are dry!"

"E before I, be a smart guy!"

"E before I, like Stefan Frei!" (Swiss footballer)



Wow - actually impressed myself with the last one. I'm gonna try and tip myself some GG for that one. (Edit: What the hell? You can't do that? Here comes a "New User" account!)

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futhee wrote:
"E before I, or I'll beat you 'til you die!"

"E before I, lest you make me cry!"

"E before I, or you won't rub my thigh!"

"E before I, give it a try!"

"E before I, my tear ducts are dry!"

"E before I, be a smart guy!"

"E before I, like Stefan Frei!" (Swiss footballer)


What happened to: "E before I, and last night I found out your girlfriend is bi"?
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Jonathan Tang
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JohnBandettini wrote:
Not really it's 'English' English rather than 'American' English

Well, the English might have invented the language, but the Americans did perfect it.
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Steve Duff
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Larry Levy wrote:
The way I learned the ditty, in full, is

"I before E, except after C,
Or when sounding like "A", as in neighbor and weigh."

That still doesn't cover all of the "EI" examples, but it helps.


Yup, most folks only recite the first part. There's a third line that I was taught:

"Leisure and seize are exceptions, watch for these".
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Seth Brown
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If on the mnemonics you place your reliance,
You'll misspell "their weird protein science".
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Osirus wrote:
If on the mnemonics you place your reliance,
You'll misspell "their weird protein science".

Weird indeed is. Easy enough to remember.

If you pronounce them pro-te-in and sci-ence, you have no problems. The rule only applies when ie or ie are digraphs, one sound.
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Josh Jennings
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This rule has become so ubiquitous, but it's really only applicable to a small subset of words. The real rule is:

Quote:
when the digram forms the /ee/ sound, i before e except after c


It's probably simpler to just memorize the handful of words with and /ee/ digram after a c:

Quote:
receive, conceive, deceive (+ the related words receipt, conceit, deceit), perceive and ceiling.


Even with that rule, there are some exceptions, for example: protein (although it can also be pronounced [proh-tee-in] which would then exempt it from the /ee/ rule).
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Seth Brown
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Tall_Walt wrote:
Osirus wrote:
If on the mnemonics you place your reliance,
You'll misspell "their weird protein science".

Weird indeed is. Easy enough to remember.

If you pronounce them pro-te-in and sci-ence, you have no problems. The rule only applies when ie or ie are digraphs, one sound.


thermogimp wrote:

Even with that rule, there are some exceptions, for example: protein (although it can also be pronounced [proh-tee-in] which would then exempt it from the /ee/ rule).


I had not heard it pronounced with three syllables before; if I heard it that way, I would presume I was hearing the word "protean".
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Adrian Hague
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jttm wrote:
JohnBandettini wrote:
Not really it's 'English' English rather than 'American' English

Well, the English might have invented the language, but the Americans did perfect it.

Indeed...
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I always knew it as "I before E, except after C, when the sound is EE", which still has plenty of exceptions but none of them are in the OP.
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