Friday, June 24, 2011

Neither leisure foreigner seized the weird heights

Today's Knoxville News Sentinel reports that a Knox County Commission auditor sent emails to a county commissioner that included the sentence, "And your family are weirdos that go to a wierd (sic) church!" (Click here to read the whole story.)

The auditor, apparently unsure of the spelling of "weird," went ahead and spelled it both ways, figuring to be correct on one of them.

He would have done well to recall the mnemonic device that helps us remember the major exceptions to the "I before e" rule--i.e., the unforgettable sentence "Neither leisure foreigner seized the weird heights."

A mnemonic device is one that assists the memory, from the Greek mnemon--mindful. Mnemosyne (right) was the Greek goddess of memory and the mother, by Zeus, of the Muses.

Of course the "I before e" rule is, "I before e, except after c, or when sounded as 'a,' as in neighbor or weigh." ]

More mnemonic devices for spelling tomorrow.

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