I before E except after C is a lie

It’s embarrassing, but I’ve had a lot of trouble spelling the word, “receipt”.  I keep spelling it reciept, which could be avoided if I remembered the simple mnemonic rhyme, “I before E, except after C”.  In this analysis, we see that it’s almost never true.

First, I downloaded a copy of every English word from this github repo, and then running it in Excel, isolated words with the letters “IE” or “EI”.  I found 504 words.

75% of words did not follow the maxim of I before E.


Did the first letter in a word impact the I & E order?  It doesn’t seem so.  Only words beginning with B, J, S and V all had an I before an E.


Length of the word didn’t have a significant impact on the order of the I and the E.   I & E combinations occurred more in words that had a length between 10 and 12 letters.