Thursday, April 26, 2007

Well, not really

Yesterday's post contained a list of words that do NOT follow this famous rule:

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

Looking back I see some words that should be on the list, but aren't, like beige and heifer; I also note the list lacks spontaneity. (Make your own punchline; I tried, but couldn't.) The list also doesn't include different forms of other words that are on the list (i.e. "deify" is there, but not "deified", etc.). I was stunned to find that "leity" wasn't on the list, until I realized it is spelled "laity".

On the whole, though, the rule is right about 70% of the time. Some other blogger did the math and came up with a higher number than that, but he also excluded words in which the "i" and "e" belonged to different syllables. And he still didn't get "beige". If I can find that page again, I'll link to it. Until then, "I before e", and so on.

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