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A simple rule we learned in school

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i before e except after c



In fact, according to this list on Wiktionary there are more than the 108 words they have listed that don't follow this rule.

My personal favorite is zeitgeist. :icon13:

Colin  :icon_geek:

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Does the rule really apply to foreign words that have shouldered their way into English.  And I guess I just used one of the 108!



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There's a very interesting and fun to read article on the Washington Post — a link is here so you can read it. It has some statistics that fly in the face of what we learned in elementary school.

Colin  :icon_geek:


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Here's the part I like:

Merriam-Webster once facetiously tried to account for all exceptions with the following jingle:

I before e, except after c

Or when sounded as 'a' as in 'neighbor' and 'weigh'

Unless the 'c' is part of a 'sh' sound as in 'glacier'

Or it appears in comparatives and superlatives like 'fancier'

And also except when the vowels are sounded as 'e' as in 'seize'

Or 'i' as in 'height'

Or also in '-ing' inflections ending in '-e' as in 'cueing'

Or in compound words as in 'albeit'

Or occasionally in technical words with strong etymological links to their parent languages as in 'cuneiform'

Or in other numerous and random exceptions such as 'science', 'forfeit', and 'weird'.


But good luck teaching that to a third-grader.

Or, as an enterprising Redditor recently put it:

I before E...

...except in a zeitgeist of feisty counterfeit heifer protein freight heists reining in weird deified beige beings and their veiny and eidetic atheist foreign schlockmeister neighbors, either aweigh with feigned absenteeism, seized by heightened heirloom forfeitures (albeit deigned under a kaleidoscope ceiling weighted by seismic geisha keister sleighs) or leisurely reimbursing sovereign receipt or surveillance of eight veiled and neighing Rottweilers, herein referred to as their caffeinated sheik's Weimaraner poltergeist wieners from the Pleiades.


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