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Segue and Segway

  • #1
    Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 23,978 mod looksee

    I used to use the word 'segue' in the sense of moving smoothly from one topic to another. Then I was told and read several times that the word was Segway. I didn't bother to look it up and (unusually for me) accepted that the word I was supposed to be using was Segway, even though I knew this was (also) a form of transportation.

    Fast forward a couple of years and I finally checked it, and guess what! I was right. Segway only means the transport device. If you want to segue from one topic or piece of music to another you can do so!

    Now I have to spread the word. It is at least more clear-cut than trying to persuade people about then and than, accept and except and all the other dodgy pairs of words that get transposed.


  • What you need for your campaign is:
    "Dreyer's English", Utterly correct guide to clarity. Link

    Recent publication by Random House copy editor. Light-hearted but quite serious. NYT best-seller apparently. And 'segue' has an entry.
    (I wonder does it comment on starting a sentence with 'and'. )

  • They are called eggcorns. Like C change for sea change, or on tender hooks for on tenterhooks.

  • I have a friend who drops these eggcorns a lot and I never correct him because there's a certain poetry in them.

    He said of an elderly judge "she'll blow her casket" instead of gasket; he will also regularly tell me "you're very gun ho about it..." instead of gung-ho etc.

    You can always see where he's coming from.

  • This one irks me because the company, Segway Inc., intentionally adopted a homophone of the word segue that, ironically, is now threatening to replace that word's proper spelling.

    I always tell offenders that Segway is a brand name for a personal transporter, should always be capitalized, and should never be used as a verb; the proper word for an uninterrupted transition from one thing to another is segue, which can be used either as a noun or verb.

    It's a losing battle, though.