Queue and cue - Mixed messages and misused words from A to Z
Quick! Can you clear up the question of correct use of queue and cue?
A queue is a string of people, lined up and expecting service or entry to a gate or doorway. A queue may also be a line of cars, boats, airplanes, or other vehicles, awaiting their turn to go. And a queue can be a lineup of songs, job tickets, waiting calls, or other ordered items in pause mode until their appointed moments.
Queue can also be a verb, as when folks queue up to go into a popular amusement park ride or a brand-new Broadway musical.
A cue is a hint or signal, usually prompting an action. An actor on the stage, for example, might be relieved to receive a cue, if he forgets a line during a performance. Cue is also a term used in billiards, as a pool player uses a cue stick to tap the white cue ball to move the multi-colored balls in play.
Still in a quandary over queue and cue? Here’s an example, showing these two words in action.
“That’s my cue,” said the pool shark, after standing in queue for nearly half an hour. He picked up his favorite cue stick and began rubbing the blue cue chalk on the tip. “Now, where’s that cue ball?” he asked his opponent, who was busy queuing up songs on the jukebox.
Misused word pair
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