Generations of frustrated schoolchildren have grumbled that “i before e except after c” isn’t worth learning because of numerous exceptions. Now the British government agrees, the BBC reports. In a document sent to 13,000 primary schools, officials say the ditty “is not worth teaching” because it’s easier to learn specific words like “receive” and “ceiling” without it.
“There are so many exceptions that it’s not really a rule,” added one expert, citing words like “vein” and “neighbor.” But one educator deems the advice heinous: “If you change it, we won’t have any rules at all—then spelling, which is already terribly confusing, becomes more so.” Declared one author: “Spelling is rubbish. The spelling system should be reformed.”