Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Segway or Sedgeway ? ? ?

Sedgeway or Segway ?

My 14 year old son,
     who receives up-to-the minute news updates on his electronic,
hand held device, always keeps me informed of the latest news. 

Yesterday, he told me that the owner of Segway, James W. Heselden,
     apparently died, while using the apparatus. 

According to my son, he fell off a cliff.

My first question was,

     "Why was he driving a Sedgeway near a cliff?"

     "It's SEGway, not SEDGEway," my son corrected.

     "Are you SURE?" I asked.

     "YES," my son said, with great confidence.

BUT, I was curious, 
     so I decided to do some research

Segway, or Sedgeway?  That is the question.

I typed "Sedgeway or Segway" into Google.com,
     and it seemed that I was not the only one confused by the matter. 

As I scrolled down the page of links associated with the word,
     the question "What is the correct spelling and/or pronunciation?"
came up again, and again . . . and again.

Most seemed to think that it should be 
          pronounced SEGway.

There is a Segway.com.

There is also a Sedgeway.net. 

Interestingly enough, however, all of the stories found on Sedgeway.net
     use the spelling of
                     S-e-g-w-a-y.

At this point, I was leaning toward Segway,
                                    but I was not quite there. . . YET.

One word that kept popping up (during my research) was . . .
                                           SEGUE.

Coming from a family of musicians, I should be familiar with this term,
     as it is related to musical scores, and means
"to play into the following movement without a break."  (World English Dictionary) 

SEGUE can also be used in non-music related (every day life) terms,
                                             as in the following definition :

Segue - (n) any smooth, uninterrupted transition from one thing to another. 
                                                                                     (Dictionary.com)


Getting closer, still.

Then, I stumbled upon this website, which provided the following information : 
 
     "When you shift to a new topic or activity, you segue. Many people unfamiliar with the unusual Italian spelling of the word misspell it as “segway.” This error is being encouraged by the deliberately punning name used by the manufacturers of the Segway Human Transporter".

http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/segway.html

Ah HA! 

By (not to be confused with "bye") JAMES,  I think we've GOT it! 

So, in conclusion, it seems the proper pronunciation and spelling
      (based on the notion that "seg" comes from "segue") is . . .

                                                  SEGWAY

and, is yet another victim of improper usage, for the benefit of marketing. 

If this is still not clear to you,
     think about the popular fast food restaurant chain, DUNKIN DONUTS.

The correct spelling of DONUTS 
     is D-O-U-G-H-N-U-T-S.

Speaking of which,
     I think I will hop on my Seg(ue)way
           and stop in for a chocolate glazed, on my way to work.

*  Side note - My spell check does not think that Segway OR Sedgeway
                               is the correct spelling ; )  
     Also, all kidding aside,
        my heart goes out to the family and friends of James W. Heselden.

                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBWXWu8aRps

5 comments:

  1. My husband has often informed me that the creator of the Segway believed his invention would have as dramatic an effect on society as the personal computer.

    I totally don't get the pun--how can an upright personal transportation devise be in any way connected to any definition of the word "segue"?

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  2. Dean Kamen is actually the CREATOR of Segway. James W. Heselden was the current OWNER of the comnpany. Ironic, just the same.

    My guess is as good as yours as to how someone came up with the name. I guess it could be considered a "smooth, uninterrupted transportation transition device" - going "from one "place" to another".

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  3. Speaking of misspelled words, that would be company, not comnpany ; )

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  4. Speaking of improper usage for the benefit of marketing, the correct spelling is "Dunking" not "Dunkin". But everybody around these parts says dunkin, anyway, so I guess it really doesn't matter now does it?

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  5. Good point, "Anonymous" !
    Thanks for your input : )

    ReplyDelete