The rule is that written ei is pronounced [i:] only after the letter c — or that what is pronounced [i:] is written ei after the letter c only.
Here are exceptions I’ve found so far:
- foreign (possibly)
- either (possibly)
- neither (possibly)
Can you add more exceptions to this list?
I am not so much interested in differences of pronunciation between dialects of English as I am in helpful (for me) mnemonics for written English.
Once more, this question is not on orthography but on mnemonics to help in writing.
If you know other helpful mnemonics to deal with spelling words with ‑ie‑ and ‑ei‑, you are welcome to answer this question.