Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day One-Hundred Sixty-Four: "I" before "E" except after tea...

While things are a bit slow this morning...

The British have declared war on language.

Well, good for them, I suppose. I guess it is technically "their" language, and we're all just borrowing it. However they want to teach it is probably the right way. After all, these are the people who very likely gave us Shakespeare!!!

In my grade school, we had an addendum that seemed to work pretty well at the end of that little rhyme: "I before E except after C, or when it says AY as in neighbor or weigh." It wasn't perfect, but that seemed to serve pretty well for the most part.

Except, of course, when it came to "weird."

It has not been too long since I finally started typing "weird" correctly the first time. (The new mnemonic device I use for that one is," Weird is spelled weirdly.") I had "I before E except after C and when it says AY like in neighbor or weigh" so deeply ingrained in my brain that my inner Old Testament-lover could not shake itself free of the rigid grammatical laws it had been bound by, no many how many times I misspelled the word.

Wierd. (Red squiggly underline) Weird.

So, it's entirely possible that the Britons have a perfectly valid point on this one. Again, it is their language. And I suppose "I before E except after C or when it says AY like in neighbor or weigh, or unless you're spelling the word weird, in which case you're on your own, kid, and good luck to you" just doesn't quite roll off the tongue.

I'm fairly proud of today's post title, by the way.