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Lottery Systems & Rules of Grammar

Published:

Last Edited: January 8, 2008, 1:23 am

After reading the many posts on systems, I am reminded of a chat I had years ago with a friend about grammar and its rules while discussing how difficult it is to learn a new language.

We were taught "I before E except after C"  When someone who is trying to learn how to spell and pronounce English asks "what about the words neighbor, weight and vein?" what do you say?  So you think about it and answer "Let's now say the rule is I before E except after C or when pronounced like an A as in neighbor and weigh."  Another student is puzzled by the words deity and society.  You tell him those are also exceptions because deity has 3 syllables (de-i-ty) and society has 4 syllables (so-ci-e-ty)  But wait! 

You begin to say "well, it's not really a science" and you suddenly realize that the very word 'science' doesn't follow the rule either.  After all, in this case, the I is after the C, so why isn't it spelled sceince?  Of course it's because it's pronounced 'sigh-ence' but it's still an exception.  But what about conscience and efficient?

So you now have a headache and pour yourself a cup of coffee which has 'caffeine' in it, and you think "Gee, that's weird."  Do you conclude that this so-called rule is a neither a rule or a system?  You begin to list all of all the exceptions and write down as many as eighty words. (okay, that sounds like the letter A)    So many exceptions....

Assuming there aren't thousands of words with ei or ie that do not follow the "I before E" rule, one can argue that if the rule is followed most of the time, the word will be spelled correctly.  So it really isn't like a jackpot game with millions of combinations or even a pick-5 game with 376K.  However, if you always apply this "rule" and one day participate in a challenging spelling bee with very tough competition, you will probably lose.

Wink

 

 

Entry #108

Comments

1.
Coin TossComment by Coin Toss - January 8, 2008, 2:19 am
Well said!
2.
time*treatComment by time*treat - January 8, 2008, 4:27 am
That's what you get when you kludge a language out of Latin, German, & Greek.
Same applies to systems. Don't kludge them together, either. :-)
3.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 8, 2008, 4:27 am
Thank you, Coin Toss!   :-)
4.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 8, 2008, 4:29 am
Wow! look at the time we both posted, time*treat. No wonder I didn't see your post. Okay, I admit it. I just looked up kludge.
5.
spy153Comment by spy153 - January 8, 2008, 12:10 pm
I remember going over that subject with my daughters. What a headache! And now that you mention the relation to the lottery rules and systems, you have MY head in a "wait a minute" mode. Lol. I don't think there are any "rules" either. At least none I can find.
6.
Comment by pacattack05 - January 8, 2008, 12:41 pm
Funny..
Why is the word "Abbreviation" so long?
7.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 8, 2008, 6:36 pm
Pac, that's a riot!!

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