|“||Put i before e|
Except after c
Or when sounding like ‘ay’
As in neighbor and weigh.”
Surely scientists could seize this chance
To improve, to polish, to enhance
Our spelling. Folks need neither weird nor
Foreign sounds in their words anymore.
|“||When two vowels go walking|
The first one does the talking.”
Your naive ideas about our spelling
Show a side of you that is quite telling.
What silly notions fill your head.
What books like this have you read?
|“||Silent e helps a vowel say its name.”|
|(||One of the most useful rules in the game!)|
Wait a minute, what have you done? Come, come,
There are exceptions, let me think of some.
Just give me time, I’ll have my fun
Finding them. Or, are there none?
For spelling reform you well may wish,
and trot out Shaw’s old, ill-smelling ghoti,
or speak of ghoughphtheightteeau when poTAHto I say.
But the heart of the matter I’ll put in this way:
While spelling ‘rules’ are not strictly true,
When you are lost they give a good clue.