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Que The Linguistic Chaff


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#1 modest

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 08:36 PM

I did a google search for "que the lights" and got just over 26,000 results
another search for "queue the lights" got nearly 7,000 results

I think "queue the lights" is undeniably more correct. I mean, it must be a way of saying "put 'lights' next in the queue". But, I am curious... well, in question form,

Does anyone think "que the lights" could be considered linguistically correct in American English?
Even if not, would anyone write "que the lights" just because it is the more common usage?


If you're not tired of reading... I've hit the same dilemma when pronouncing "neanderthal". The scientifically inclined and pedantically correct leave the h silent, but almost everyone else in the population pronounces the h. When I say the word, which of course isn't often, I've sometimes noticed giving a long pause before that word because I'm debating to myself how to say it. It usually boils down to who is listening.

I did the same thing the other day when writing "queue/que the dancing". It took me way too long to decide on how to write it.

Big troubles, I know.

#2 sman

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 10:00 PM

I did a google search for "que the lights" and got just over 26,000 results
another search for "queue the lights" got nearly 7,000 results


I couldn’t find any references to the variant spelling “que”. I like it though. Maybe it’ll catch on. It's fun to watch these things happen.


Does anyone think "que the lights" could be considered linguistically correct in American English?



Yes, it could. If people start to use it that way, then it becomes correct. I guess “correct” isn’t the best word. Linguistics, and lexicography en suite, takes great effort to describe language objectively, not prescribe it. If there are variant forms or spellings dictionaries will list them in order of frequency. Frequencies change over time. Sometimes a new variant drives out the old.


If you're not tired of reading... I've hit the same dilemma when pronouncing "neanderthal". The scientifically inclined and pedantically correct leave the h silent, but almost everyone else in the population pronounces the h. When I say the word, which of course isn't often, I've sometimes noticed giving a long pause before that word because I'm debating to myself how to say it. It usually boils down to who is listening.



Yeah, I use ‘em both, depending on the setting(who I’m speaking to and the context). The fricative ( -th- ) pronunciation is obviously back-formation: speakers unfamiliar with the etymology of the word are analyzing the spelling in a different way than the coiners of the word. That’s ok, really. It’s the same as above, accept the variation is in the pronunciation while spelling remains the same. Different varieties of the same word vying for the same job.

#3 Turtle

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:58 AM

segue to little theatre. :drummer: "queue" is a line or to align; que doesn't exist*; one "cues" the lights, as in give the signal to turn them on. "cue" also can mean to form a queue. a few other distinct meanings at a dictionary near u. :read:

cue
[quotename='a dictionary pedantically']
...
v.intr.
To form a line or queue.
[Variant of queue.]
cue 2 (ky)
n.
1. A signal, such as a word or action, used to prompt another event in a performance, such as an actor's speech or entrance, a change in lighting, or a sound effect.
...[/quote]

*que is an abbreviation for quebec and means a half farthing (whatever the bloody hell a farthing is. ) in britain.

Edited by Turtle, 10 May 2012 - 01:02 AM.


#4 modest

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:20 AM

segue to little theatre. :drummer: "queue" is a line or to align; que doesn't exist*; one "cues" the lights, as in give the signal to turn them on.

Ah! That makes sooo much more sense. I'm very glad I asked now :) Now if only I were misspelling neanderthal :hihi:

So we're left with another linguistic bit of chaff. Why the bleep can "c", "k", and "q" have the same sound? Colbert's got a funny bit on it at 2:10, war against the silent c

#5 Turtle

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:37 AM

Ah! That makes sooo much more sense. I'm very glad I asked now :) Now if only I were misspelling neanderthal :hihi:

So we're left with another linguistic bit of chaff. Why the bleep can "c", "k", and "q" have the same sound? Colbert's got a funny bit on it at 2:10, war against the silent c


we thespians are bound by not only bass ackward stage directions, but a code of honor
in the pursuit of the...uhhhh...of the uh..... honor; yes, honor. :bow_flowers:

so did you read segue as "seg goo" or as seh goo" "seg way"? 0.o

i have a friend that makes a point of saying the hard t and correcting others if they don't. now when we talk, i just say cave people. :rotfl:

i qan't cwit kalling "bleep", "beep". :fly:

#6 modest

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:56 AM

we thespians are bound by not only bass ackward stage directions, but a code of honor

That does explain it. Your typical AMC theater is spelled "theater". But, you can bet if there is an actor performing at a theater (even here in America) it gets spelled "theatre".

This actually explains a lot. I went to a carnival as a young lad and I was sure that the guy who made the "carnivale" sign was some species of unintelligible carny. Maintaining an honorable tradition fits much nicer :)

#7 Turtle

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 02:03 AM

That does explain it. Your typical AMC theater is spelled "theater". But, you can bet if there is an actor performing at a theater (even here in America) it gets spelled "theatre".

This actually explains a lot. I went to a carnival as a young lad and I was sure that the guy who made the "carnivale" sign was some species of unintelligible carny. Maintaining an honorable tradition fits much nicer :)


carnies!! they ain't even thee-ater. :Clown: speaking of clowns, aren't they a mischievous bunch?

so for "mischievous" do you say "miss chiv us" or "miss chee vee us"? i always said it wrong until another lingual pedant friend corrected me. out-pedanted!! i hate that! :doh: now i just say troublemaker.

#8 modest

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 02:24 AM

so did you read segue as "seg goo" or as seh goo" "seg way"? 0.o

I missed that. Colbert has got to be the most clever written, and certainly most intelligently performed, half hour show on television.

i have a friend that makes a point of saying the hard t and correcting others if they don't. now when we talk, i just say cave people. :rotfl:

:hihi:

carnies!! they ain't even thee-ater. :Clown: speaking of clowns, aren't they a mischievous bunch?

Oh, no, no. It was very reputable. Very respectable bunch. It was a boulevard carnival. Or, a boulevarde carnivale... or some such honorable and traditional thing I'm sure

so for "mischievous" do you say "miss chiv us" or "miss chee vee us"? i always said it wrong until another lingual pedant friend corrected me. out-pedanted!! i hate that! :doh: now i just say troublemaker.

Wait, you mean it isn't "miss chee vee us". Truly we've stepped into a mine field.

#9 modest

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 02:25 AM

I couldn’t find any references to the variant spelling “que”.

I do take comfort knowing someone looked :)

#10 Boerseun

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:38 AM

I think the biggest problem with your Google hit rate for "que" vs. "queue" is simply that "que" is Spanish for "what?". So I guess the majority of hits generated by Google would be from questions asked by Spaniards than anything else. What happens if you tell Google only to search English pages?

How you guys doing, by the way? I've been gone for a while, raisin' kids an' such... A full time job, lemme tell ya...

#11 modest

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 12:18 PM

Boerseun!! :partyballoons: :partycheers:

Where the beep have you been, man? I left the forums myself for a bit and when I came back I did have the thought, "I wonder where Boerseun is off to".

The last I recalled hearing was the discussion about civil violence in your neck of South Africa... Hooligans, violence perpetrated for petty crime, and your house getting robbed... Needing some kind of home protection and whatnot... Then I come back and you're gone :surprise: Needless to say... damn good to hear from you! Also good to hear... actually, to catch myself, in a thread devoted to linguistics I can't really say that *I've heard* the previously widely publicized Zimbabwean issues have abated... I would only assume that they have because I haven't heard one bit about it in US media. I guess I should say that it's good that I haven't heard bad news, and all the better to hear from you. I was worried that some foreshadowed calamity had found you.

The search I did was actually for "que the lights" (with quotes) so I wouldn't expect it to return Spanish language sites—"the lights" not being in Spanish. On the other hand, I would probably (in fact, I'm sure I do) agree with you as far as "que the lights" being more popular than "queue the lights" because of the Spanish (and anglo) word que. people wondering how to spell it when writing might fall back on the familiar.

#12 Boerseun

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:00 PM

Life got to me. In the form of two little girls keeping me up all night, and working my butt off keeping me up all day! Yah, politics still nuts on this end of the world, what with a serial poligamist for a president, who's favourite thing to do at the end of a political rally is to sing a little ditty about killing my people. True story. Crazy crap for someone used to Western politics, I know. Any case, gotta run - 3:39 am over here, and the youngest just started nagging for a bottle...