“I” before “e”, except after “c”…

Yeah, we all learned that, didn’t we? And according to 538 Significant Digits:

75 percent

Share of the time the “‘i’ before ‘e’ … ” spelling mnemonic is accurate. Looking at the second part of the rule, “… except after ‘c’,” that’s also correct in about 75 percent of the words where and “ie” or “ei” follows “c.” [Nathan Cunn]

But there’s at least one word for which the rule doesn’t work, although I dutifully applied it in a short story I wrote years ago.

Gave it to my Dad to read.

Here’s what he said: “Do you realize you used the word ‘weird’ around 20 times–and spelled it wrong each time?”

Such an embarrassing lesson. Ever since, I have been scrupulously careful not to use the word “weird” more than once in any piece, and always spell it correctly. Weird, weird, weird…

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