Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Contradictory Rule in the English Language

One of the biggest things I absolutely despise about the English language is that a lot of its words do NOT follow the English rules.  For example, the rule, “’I’ before ‘E’ except after ‘C.’”  This is obviously not the case in words such as eight, weird, or neither!  This rule especially doesn’t apply with the word “ancient” either.  Then I learned the exception to the rule..."I before E except after C, unless it sounds like A as in neighbor or weigh.  But I soon realized that this new version of the "rule" STILL isn't the case with all the words.   

I personally did not find it that difficult to try and remember these types of words when growing up or going through school, but I can see how some students would.  I have recently been subbing at a school and helping elementary students out with trying to spell certain words and when they come across problems, like the “I” before “E” rule, I have a hard time trying to explain to them that certain (actually a lot of) words will not follow the specific rules that they are taught.

Other Words that Don’t Follow the "I Before E" Rule









  1. One student last year discovered that this rule is incorrect much more than correct. The Brits have taken the rule out of circulation, but it persists in the States.

  2. I never really thought about this but you're right! It's true! It also inspires me to blog about another weird rule I just thought of...