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"I before E" is a common mnemonic that is taught for spelling certain English words, but this mnemonic is often wrong, as pointed out in this Language Log post.

The aim of this question is to create the longest grammatical English sentence with non-repeating words (each word can only be used once in the entire sentence) which contains the maximum number of words that violate the "I before E" rule, without resorting to quotations, numbers over ten, or proper nouns.

Sentences will be scored by the number of violations, minus the number of non-violations (includes words which don't include "ie" or "ei").

Example:

Caffeinated atheists reinvent their weird foreign neighbours(7-0=7)

Caffeinated atheists reinvent their blue foreign neighbours(6-1=5)

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  • $\begingroup$ I was taught: "I before E except after C or when sounding like AY as in NEIGHBOR/NEIGHBOUR and WEIGH." That would mean that NEIGHBOUR is not a violation. $\endgroup$ – Paul Rowe Mar 3 '15 at 18:12
  • $\begingroup$ @PaulRowe There are lots of variations in the presentation of the rule, because it is such a terrible one. By some counts, there are more exceptions to the (unmodified) rule than there are valid examples. $\endgroup$ – KSmarts Mar 3 '15 at 18:38
  • $\begingroup$ Downvoters, care to explain why? I tried to model it after puzzling.stackexchange.com/questions/6691/… $\endgroup$ – March Ho Mar 3 '15 at 19:53
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    $\begingroup$ @MarchHo I would venture a guess that this is downvoted because the answers are all going to be either ridiculous sentences that no human would ever use and are, therefore, hecka confusing OR they're going to be snarky distortions of the rules. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Mar 3 '15 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast And whose fault is that second part? $\endgroup$ – KSmarts Mar 3 '15 at 20:32
4
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I've got 44-7=37

Eighty feisty, ableit dreich, reigning sovereign sheikhs' heirs, deifing society, inveigled a weird foreign leisurely scientist's fanciest eight rottweilers to forfeit sufficient obeisance, veiling a heinous seismic gneiss vein heist, wherein they abseiled heights of neighboring ancient lithofacies, heigh-ho-ing their weighty freight with beige greige skeins, later efficiently surfeiting on stupefacient codeine.

Basically, a bunch of rich kids charmed some dogs and stole a bunch of rocks, and then OD'd on painkillers.

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3
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1,752 - 5 = 1,747

With inspiration from warspyking:

My favorite words include abseil, abseiled, abseiling, abseils, absenteeism, absenteeisms, ... , zein, zeins, zeitgeber, zeitgebers, zeitgeist, and zeitgeists.

It's the entire list except for eighteen, eighteens, eightfold, eighties, and eighty due to the "no numbers over 10" rule.

I realize this is a snarky response but it's a grammatically correct sentence that meets the current requirements of the question.

The only higher scores I can think of either include numbers over 10 (a rule added to prevent other snarky responses) or are variations on the sentence that uses less words. For instance, "[List] are all words." or even "[List] are words."

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  • $\begingroup$ It looks like the rules need to include use-mention distinction. Also, I don't think "..." is 1755 words. $\endgroup$ – KSmarts Mar 3 '15 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @KSmarts I didn't want to type every word in the list. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Mar 3 '15 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ It's not in quotes and it doesn't need to be. I was definitely inspired by your deleted answer and I considered noting that. I'll do it now. However, yours was a quote with 0 invalid words. Mine is a sentence and, thus, must have invalid words. $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Mar 3 '15 at 20:14
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    $\begingroup$ @warspyking You're upset about a stolen answer? Interesting, then, that the most recent edit on your own answer makes it exactly the same as someone else's (cough), except for one word. $\endgroup$ – KSmarts Mar 3 '15 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ I read "eightieth" as in "eightieth in line" but you're right in that it can also be fractional. Here comes the update. I'm leaving off "eighties", though, as it refers to a range of numbers that are all over 10 even though the word itself is not a number. It's the same reason I'm leaving out "eightfold". After all, we don't want to get silly here... $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Mar 3 '15 at 22:00
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I've got 45-7=38

Eighty feisty, atheistic, albeit dreich, reigning sovereign sheikhs' heirs, deifing society, inveigled a weird foreign leisurely scientist's fanciest eight rottweilers to forfeit sufficient obeisance, veiling a heinous seismic gneiss vein heist, wherein they abseiled heights of neighboring ancient lithofacies, heigh-ho-ing their weighty freight with beige greige skeins, later efficiently surfeiting on stupefacient codeine.

Face it, we can go on until we hit 1767 words...

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    $\begingroup$ Change every "eight" to be "eighty eight" $\endgroup$ – Engineer Toast Mar 3 '15 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast That should be spelled "eighty-eight," which is one word. $\endgroup$ – KSmarts Mar 3 '15 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ @EngineerToast or 8888888888888888888 in words. Obvious Rule Patched. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Mar 3 '15 at 19:50
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    $\begingroup$ This can really go for infinity if you do it right couldn't it? $\endgroup$ – warspyking Mar 3 '15 at 19:52
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    $\begingroup$ Why did you copy the answer though? It appears that it is clearly made in bad faith. $\endgroup$ – March Ho Mar 3 '15 at 20:36

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