[DWJ] Segue

Eleanor Joslin eleanor at dreamvine.org.uk
Tue Jun 8 18:49:58 EDT 2010


I know I'm wrong, but I can't stop thinking it's "seg" to rhyme with "leg".  It feels as if anyone who pronounces it the other way must have been overly influenced by the Segway brand of scooter-or-whatever-it-is.  "Seeg" never occurred to me.

I never knew it came from musical Italian.  How can I have studied and played classical music for 25 years without coming across it?

	Eleanor

On 8 Jun 2010, at 23:42, S. Worthen wrote:

> 
> On Jun 8, 2010, at 11:19 PM, Elizabeth Evans wrote:
> 
>> Aside from the Bible, I've also been puzzled by 'segue'. I always mentally pronounced this as 'seeg', but it's not,  is it?
> 
> 	Not usually.  It's pronounced 'segwei' as it comes from Italian via musical language.
> 
> 	But what really interests me is that this is the second time in as many days that I've encountered the pronunciation 'seeg' for it.
> 
> 	Yesterday, it was an English teacher. I asked her about it: she said she distinguished between 'seeg' for non-musical contexts, and 'segwei' for musical ones. She knew it couldn't be entirely wrong, dictionaries aside, because she had heard other people say it that way (which is, of course, how alternative pronunciations evolve and, sometimes, become dominant), and anyway, it starts off too much like "sequential" to stop. And now it had become habit with her.
> 
> 	Relatedly, an a column on the word: http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090317/EDITORIAL/903170325
> 
> 	Shana
> 
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