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This question already has an answer here:

The exceptions such as"foreign" and "weird" seem abnormal to me because most of the rest of the ie or ei words follow the i before e rule. They don't have a "c". Why does that happen?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, FumbleFingers, Jon Hanna, anongoodnurse, RyeɃreḁd Jun 13 '14 at 19:47

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Because the usual formation of that rule is incomplete and there really isn't a simple fix. The correct rule should apparently be (from the first link),

Use I before E

Except when C is followed by L, P, T or V

Or when sounded like "A" as in weight or "I" as in height

Or when a prefix or suffix implies E-I.

(Note that this means I before E after C the rest of the time!)

Note that there are still exceptions to the correct form of the rule,

The one I-E exception is: society (C followed by T but not E-I) (well, 3 if you count societal and societies) Of course this exception fools no one because "ie" is not a digraph in this case so the order is obvious.

The E-I exceptions are: albeit, neither, counterfeit, either, foreign, geisha, forfeit, heifer, herein, keister, leisure, peignoir, reveille, seize, sheik, sovereign, surfeit, therein, weir, weird, wherein [and variants like foreigner, forfeiture, seizure, sheikdom, weirdo, weirder]. The rare ones are: ceinture, enceinte, mullein, teiid, and villein. Of these, albeit, herein, therein and wherein are not digraphs so fool no one.

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Words come into English from many different sources, with various West Germanic dialects and Norman French being the most significant. The fact that I tends to comes before E in most of our most commonly used words is a bit of a coincidence. When an E and an I are together, one of them has to come first, and -ie- is helped by the fact that words ending in -y usually convert to -ie- when made plural or past tense.

The "except after C" exception is mainly due to Anglo-Norman's heavy use of -ceivre- as a word root, from Latin capere, "to take" (e.g., receive, deceive, conceit, and so forth).

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