Thursday, March 19, 2009

Neice* (for Niece*)

My exceedingly nice niece is an excellent writer and very good speller and necessitates precious little advice from me. However, she recently slipped up and signed off a letter with the nicety: "Your loving neice." In spite of the not-infallible* rhyming rule "I Before E Except After C," I must admit I've made this mistake myself, and so, it seems, have at least a dozen other catalogers. There are 18 instances of Neice* in OhioLINK, but six of them refer to proper names, i.e. (so to speak), five surnames and one given name.

* See the first word of our painting's title and this discussion and list of English-language exceptions to the rule.

(l'Ancien Port de Nice by Isidore Dagnan, 1794-1873, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

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