Those darn heterographs always mess with ya. In this case, U.S. and British usage is also at war between these word confusions: cue versus queue.
Cue is the same in American-English and British usage…until it comes to that line. Americans do love to cue everything, while the British prefer to queue up into a line of some sort — it’s probably why queue was adopted into the computer industry (on both sides of the Atlantic). Queue also means tail (from the French), referring to a single braid of hair hanging down one’s back.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: cue and queue; Oxford Dictionary: cue|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Noun 1, 2, 3;
Verb, intransitive 2 & transitive 1, 2
Variant spelling of queue [U.S.]
|Noun 4, 5;
Verb 4, 5, intransitive & transitive
Anything said or done, on or off stage, that is followed by a specific line or action 1
The part a person is to play
[Archaic] Frame of mind
[Pool, billiards, snooker] A long, straight, tapering wooden rod for striking the ball 2
[Shuffleboard] A long, usually wooden stick with a concave head, used to propel the disks
A queue or file, as of persons awaiting their turn
[Usually followed by in or into] To insert, or direct to come in, in a specific place in a musical or dramatic performance
To twist or tie (the hair) into a cue 2
To strike with a cue
[Chiefly British] A line or sequence of people or vehicles awaiting their turn to be attended to or to proceed 4
[Archaic] A braid of hair worn at the back
[Computing] A list of data items, commands, etc., stored so as to be retrievable in a definite order, usually the order of insertion 5
[Queue up] Be extremely keen to do or have something
[Often followed by up] To form in a line while waiting
[Computers] To arrange (data, jobs, messages, etc.) into a retrievable order 5
[Computing] Arrange in a retrievable order 5
[Computers] To arrange (data, jobs, messages, etc.) into a retrievable order
An off-stage door slam was his cue to enter.
Any conversational lull was my cue for asking a question.
Bethany uses a specific number to cue up her memory as to what she is supposed to pick up.
Expectancy is communicated both by auditory and visual cues.
Of course, the pictures also provided additional cues for recall.
My teacher joked about such attitudes and I followed her cue.
The door opened right on cue.
McGee did not move, and Julia took her cue from him.
You could tell by his expression that he had missed a cue.
Who took the cue ball?
Clothing and decoration provide important cues to aid interpersonal and intrapersonal communication.
Mr. Glass asked his students, “Who knows a word that starts with cue but without the following you?”
And the three times Regal Masters champion was soon cueing superbly.
“Stephen deserved to win it — he was cueing beautifully and produced his best form when it mattered,” said the six-times champion.
I am cueing well, but every now and then I make an unbelievable howler.
Marge will have a list of needs and questions on paper to cue you.
These features make it easier to cue up a tape for editing.
Full screen graphics can be cued in and cued up by using two buttons.
Since many of the program’s participants had never played a record, let alone cued one up, they began by first explaining how a record makes sound on a turntable and then showing them how to handle and cue it.
Will you cue me on my lines?
You’ll need to cue in a lighting effect.
Can you imagine having to queue for shoes?
Queues are a First-In-First-Out (FIFO) data structure.
Lao’s queue reached all the way down to his hips.
“A few years ago, I was standing in a queue behind two men and eavesdropping on their conversation.”, “Will Jargon Be the Death of the English Language?“, The Telegraph, 30 March 2014
Look at the queue at the theatre!
Companies are queuing up to move to the bay.
There are three print jobs queued up ahead of mine.
Whoever queues up first in the queue is the first to be served.
When first setting up a database, it doesn’t really matter which fields are queued first, as they can be rearranged.
The first file queued into the queue is the first element to be deleted or removed from the list.
We’ll have to hurry if we want to be the first to queue up in line.
|Noun: cue ball, cue bid, cue card, cued speech, cueist||Noun: dequeue, enqueue, queuer|
|History of the Word:|
|1 Mid-16th century and of unknown origin.
2 1725-35, from the French queue meaning tail, which is from the Old French coue, from the Latin cōda, which is from the earlier cauda meaning tail, essentially denoting a long plait or pigtail.
|4 Dates from the mid-19th century.
5 Late 16th century, as a heraldic term denoting the tail of an animal. It’s from the French and based on the Latin cauda meaning tail (see 2).
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!