Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Exception

i before e, except after c,
or when sounding as a, in neighbor and weigh

As I was leaving Sam’s this morning, KLove was discussing a law in England, well, rather a law that is in the process of being passed, that would ban teachers from teaching the above sing song rule for spelling.

The reason? The exceptions.

As they asked the person that called in to spell sufficient, I realized I never have used that rule for that particular word, but I have used it for the word received often. Then I wondered “how many exceptions are there?”

So I decided I could either sit down on my keister and google it or enjoy my caffeine leisurely. Both won. So I seized the moment and found common words, and some weird words - phenolphthalein, phthalei, monteith. Ok not necessarily weird, just not used in my day to day vocabulary.

Did you know that a monteith (an exception to the i before e rule) is that large punch bowl with the notched rim to hold the cups?

My conscience has now told me it is time to forfeit this inveigle post (ok, that might not exactly be the proper use of that word, but I am trying to be artful with this post) and seek protein.

Maybe some breakfast would be a good idea!

Do you still use that rule with some words?


Unknown said...

Being the grammatically challenged person that I am I use all the help I can get. I find that when I am come up on this situation that this small rhyme does lilt through my brain. Hey every little bit helps even if there are 1000 exceptions!


Jan said...

Thanks for that little reminder. I love it.

I don't remember the rules anymore and it shows. But I do remember those schoolhouse rock video's.

I'm just a bill, yes I am only a bill and I'm sitting here on capitol hill.. I want to be a law someday.

And the conjunction conjunction what's your funtion....

Gayle said...

Yes! Like you I say that rule in my head when I spell receive!

Finding Pam said...

I left you a little something at my blog.

Jean Campbell said...

I will always remember how to spell sufficient because I missed it in a regional spelling bee in 8th grade.

I always think of 'piece of pie' when spelling piece and niece, rather than the i before e rule.

Merrie said...

LOL... I have always gotten so confused over spelling issues. I've been extremely thankful for spell check.
Enjoyed the mind exercises. They challenged me to be more mindful of words.

Maggie May said...

I ALWAYS use that rule!
However, I then have to think hard about the exceptions!
Maybe it would make sense to LEARN the exceptions in the first place!

Sandi McBride said...

Some breakfast and a cup of coffee! LOL...you have way to much time on your hands my friend! I'll still use this rule of course...I'm to stubborn not to!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Very fun post!! The rule is a useful generalization even so...But then again, maybe it's just that old habits die hard with this former English teacher :-) Thanks for stopping by!!! It was great to hear from you!! You know that you'll be one of the first people I visit when I return from my break!!! God bless you!! ~Janine XO