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Spelling ie vs. ei

Posted By: Storysmith

Spelling ie vs. ei - 11/01/16 09:48 PM

As a child I learned the spelling rhyme:

i" before e
except after c
or when sounding like a
as in neighbor and weigh.

This has helped me spell many words according to the recommended standard, including

(i before e)
wield, piedmont, lien, diesel
lenient, piece, mien, lieutenant

(except after c)
ceiling, conceit, receive

(or when sounding like a)
feint, neigh, sleigh

But there are words that dont follow this rule, that dont have a long a sound, and arent after a c", such as
height (sounding like a long i)
seize (sounding like a long e)
sleight (sounding like a long i)

Is there some historical etymological reason behind these anomalies?
For that matter, is there some historical reason behind the rule in the rhyme?
(And does anyone know of exceptions that have an "ie" after "c"?)
Posted By: LukeJavan8

Re: Spelling ie vs. ei - 11/01/16 11:22 PM

WELCOME
Posted By: wofahulicodoc

Re: Spelling ie vs. ei - 11/03/16 01:28 AM


...And does anyone know of exceptions that have an "ie" after "c"?

prophecies
science
species

and a raft of others.

Go to onelook.com and enter " *cie* " -- you don't even have to Enter it; just look in the dropdown!
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