The Queen’s English — we are not amused by silly rhymes like ‘I before E except after C’

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British educators are being told to throw out one of the most widely recognized rules in English spelling: “I before E except after C.”

BBC News and The Associated Press reported this weekend on a U.K. government document that argues the rhyming device simply has too many exceptions to be worth teaching. Some experts agree, but others say it’s still broadly applicable. Every little bit helps, right?

“If you change it and say we won’t have this rule, we won’t have any rules at all, then spelling, which is already terribly confusing, becomes more so,” a senior English lecturer at King’s College London told the BBC.

What the esteemed language lords are forgetting is that all mnemonic devices will soon be obsolete in a world where the predictive text technology of mobile devices lets us spill our guts about meaningless crap with the barest proficiency in spelling — or vocabulary.

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