(The English Language makes no sense!)

12 Jul

“i before e, except after c. “

What a perfectly good well-rhymed rule. It’s ingrained into all of our minds by the age of 5 and has helped kids across the country score 10/10 in spelling tests. Except for the fact that it’s absolutely rubbish that is! 

I am currently tutoring a primary school girl with her spelling and it has only just occured to me how many spelling rules there are. Not only spelling rules but spelling rules with about 100 exceptions. Surely this means it is not a rule!

Here are some of the 212 words that have just decided to ignore the rules altogether.


I’m getting bored now so I’ll stop there.

No wonder kids today find themselves lost in a maze of tricky spelling relating conundrums. Truth is, the English language is made up of a lot of half rules and we’re just expected to pick it up along the way. 

Oh well, perhaps with the use of computers in every classroom it won’t be long until we give up on spellings and throw the dictionaries out all together. That’s what spellcheck is there for after all.

2 Responses to “ (The English Language makes no sense!)”

  1. Lee July 12, 2010 at 8:11 pm #

    I’ve always been annoyed with that rule. I sometimes ask people how to spell words and they quote this rule at me, but then is turns out the word was one of the exceptions! They should just stop teaching that I before E rule altogether.
    And spell-checkers! They are very useful, but isn’t it better to just spell it right the first time? Spell-checkers is just an excuse lazy people use so they don’t have to learn 😡

  2. TheIntentionalSage July 13, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    I always enjoyed spelling as a kid, but I can understand how it might not be the strong suit of others. It is interesting to note that spelling in other languages, for instance, many of the Asian languages, is much more ‘mathematical,’ or maybe it just seems that way. Specifically, I understand that it some Asian languages, instead of having “eleven, twelve, etc.” the rough translation would be one-ten, two-ten (or ten-one, ten-two), I don’t remember exactly.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

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