English is endlessly fascinating, at least to me. So are the brains that master a zillion linguistic rules without knowing they exist. Consider these words or phrases (for today’s purposes, let’s not quibble the hyphens):
We learn in school about rhyme and alliteration, but who teaches about word pairs where only the vowel changes? The vowels must follow a particular sequence:
i before a, or i before o. Can you think of any common such pairing in which the order is reversed?
Small wonder learning or teaching English as a second language is so challenging. Here’s an entertaining read about how this vowel-order rule bumps up against another linguistic sequencing rule you may not have known you knew.
I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.