Grammar 101 with Michael Kwan

I’ll admit that the difference between these two terms didn’t hit me until just a few years ago, but this is most likely because it’s the kind of vernacular that you don’t hear every day. It also doesn’t help that “segue” is the kind of word that almost always spoken and almost never written.

When you are thinking about the two-wheeled scooter that is designed to move people around urban environments, that is the trademarked product known as the Segway. This is the product that started its life as Project Ginger and it was further popularized by movies like Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

You might even remember when I crashed a Segway almost four years ago. I can laugh about it, but it was clearly an embarrassing moment at the time.

Then, what is a segue? Pronounced exactly the same way as Segway, a segue refers to the transition that you’d make from one segment to another. For instance, a TV news anchor may use a segue go from talking about the weather to talking about politics: “Speaking of powerful winds of change, we now turn our attention to the race among the Republicans.”

The term “segue” is also used in the context of music, movies, and other forms of entertainment. The producer or director works out a way to move from one scene or song to another without an obvious interruption. You get this quite often with medleys at live concerts.

Just as queue and cue are pronounced the same way but have entirely different meanings, Segway and segue can be just as easily confused. Are there any other word pairs or grammatical rules that confuse you? Suggest the topic through the comment form below and I’ll add it to the queue for a future Grammar 101 post. How’s that for a segue?