Let's Speak English

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c'. Following this rule BELIEVE and RELIEF are spelled with an L-I-E: while DECEIVE and RECEIPT are spelled with a C-E-I. Even here there are exceptions, such as SEIZE which has an E·I not after a c. But that's understandable; for people who SEIZE things usually break the law.

There are several pairs of words in English which are pronounced in exactly the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings.

Take the word STORY. When it's spelled without an E- S·T·O·R·Y- it means a report or narrative: 'the STORY of my life'. Or 'the STORY of Ali Baba nd the Forty Thieves'.

The other spelling o{ STOREY is S-T·O-R·E·Y. With an E it means a floor of a house - the first STOREY· the second STOREY: that is - the first floor; the second floor.

But don't forget that what's called the first floor of a house in Palestine is called the ground floor in England. So the second floor in Palestine becomes the first floor in England. That's very important when you go on a visit to London. If you don't know it, you might walk straight into somebody else's bedroom.

While we're on the subject of houses, I must ask you not to write your address in English as 'House so-and-so'; that comes straight from Germany, and not through 'Ha-avara' either. The correct order is 'so-and-so House'. 'Blumenfeld House' - not 'House Blumenfeld'.

Another thing to remember is that, if you live with a family, don't write 'by so-and-so' but 'care of so-and-so'. 'Care of Shneider' not 'by Shneider'.

'Care of' is usually written small c, oblique stroke, small o.

The same applies to the house number. In English one writes the house number before and not after the name of the street. Not 'Allenby Street 10', but '10 Allenby Street'.

Lastly, one puts the name of the town at the end of the address and not at the beginning. So it's wrong to write 'Tel Aviv, Allenby Street 10, House Blumenfeld, by Shneider'. What you should write is 'care of Shneider Blumenfeld House, 10 Allenby Street, Tel-Aviv'.

And the correct English abbreviation of Street is ST full stop and not STR full stop.

Now another word in English which can be spelled in different ways with different meanmgs is RAIN. This has three different spellings. First, there's REIN, R-E-I-N, the leather strap you steer a horse with - or try to. You can say "I caught hold of the REIN".

Then there's REIGN, R-E-I-G-N, the rule of a King. In the English national anthem, (of which, by the way, few Englishmen know the words) there are the lines :

Send him victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to REIGN over us
God save the king.


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