I Before E…

…except when you are running a feisty heist on a weird beige foreign neighbor.

The English language is weird.  Just flat-out weird.  I’ve heard from non-native speakers that it is one of the hardest languages to learn.  It seems there are more exceptions than there are rules.  The “i before e” thing is just one example of that. Yes, field, friend, fiend, niece all follow the rule.  But beige, neighbor, weird, heist, feisty, do not.  And there are others.

When the letter “c” is at the beginning of a word, it is supposed to be a hard “k” sound.  Carouse, carousel, curb, club, cube.  But what about circus and circle?  The “s” should be a ssssss sound like a snake.  But what about does, flows, cause, pause, floods, where it sounds more like a z?

How confusing!

In my day job, I work with students with disabilities at a university.  I work with making their print documents accessible.  One student taking classes this summer is taking a course that talks about working with English Language Learners, particularly those that are Latina/o.  Every article I have to convert for her talks about how children trying to learn English are not just speaking English with an accent, they are substituting sounds they are already familiar with in their native language, because the rules make no sense.  What is the proper pronunciation from one particular letter in English, isn’t proper for the same letter in another word.  Unlike Spanish, French, and even German, there are really no “standard pronunciations” that an English language learner can count on. The only real way to learn the language is by rote.

No wonder teachers have such trouble teaching kids about phonics!

What are your examples of crazy English language rules or exceptions?

Fairest of the Faire – available now!

Fairest of the Faire book coverBlurb:

Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law’s Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.

Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie’s don’t-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.

When she is threatened by her late husband’s bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.


“Who said anything about a relationship?” he said, standing up so he could tower over her again. “I’m just trying to have a little fun. You know, fun?”

If he’d been an animal, she was sure he’d have had hair raised on the back of his neck, he seemed so angry, and it struck her painfully. She hadn’t wanted to anger him or hurt him. She turned away from him and closed her eyes to tamp down the tears she knew would come if she let them. She crossed her arms over her chest, to hold in the pain. Being tired made her much too vulnerable.

“Yes,” she finally said. “I know about fun. Life isn’t always fun, though.”

“Princess.” His voice was soft, tender. “I won’t hurt you. It’s not in my plan.”

Despite herself, she felt the shivers of desire race down from her shoulders, down her arms and legs, and back up to that secret, soft place at her core. She bowed her head and gritted her teeth, hoping for the feeling to go away.

“And what is your plan, Gage?”

“It’s a simple plan. I want you to feel good. I want to feel good, too.”

Available NOW!

Buy at Wild Rose Press:  (eBook and paperback)

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One thought on “I Before E…

  1. I love it when two words look like they should rhyme but they don’t. Like cough and though. Or words that are spelled the same but have two totally different meanings. Like lead (by the hand) or lead (the metal). Or Polish (the people) and polish (as in cleaning). It’s a weird and wacky language for sure.

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