Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The I Before E Rule

Yesterday, on the way home from work, I was listening to NPR and this article about the "I Before E Rule" not being taught anymore in British classrooms came on. It was hilarious.
 
At first I thought, oh, what a tragedy, you absolutely need this rule. But, as I listened, I realized I hadn't really given it much in depth thought. The article has a point. There are so many exceptions to this rule, that I'm not even sure why it was taught to me.
 
It makes me wonder how many other rules and lessons from gradeschool are almost useless or even irrelevant.
 
The best part of the article was the statement about children needing to learn 3 things in school: arithmetic, how to communicate and how to get along with others. It's true. Sure there are other things to learn, but these are the core 3 things. The guy is right, spelling is not at the top of the list. I know several people who can communicate and form very good ideas, but who cannot get the spelling right. It's not like they can't spell at all - they just spell words the way they sound. In this case, the reader can still understand what was being communicated, it's just not perfect.
Anyway, I wonder how I'll feel about all of this when my son goes to school. I'm sure everything will have changed by then.

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