The English language is as fascinating as it is complex, as frustrating as it is functional. E.B. White was revising his copy of The Elements of Style when he came to the realization, famously uttering that he hated the “guts of English grammar”. Due to those ineloquent rules, idioms, and odd patterns, not to mention homophones!, English has long been considered one of the most difficult foreign languages to master. Today, we are going to take a bird’s eye view of the English language as we focus on queues, lines, and queue management, as outlined by Ombori Grid. We’ll explore a few of the etymological hiccups regarding the word as well as how modern businesses are acclimating to modern line management requirements.
The Etymology of a Line
According to a cursory glance at the nearest dictionary, a queue is defined as a line of people, sometimes standing in cars, but always waiting for something. Also usable as a verb, queues can refer to individuals lining up to buy something, such as tickets to a concert. In American English, a queue is referred to as a line. In British English, a line is referred to as a queue. No wonder this language can be so confusing!
The root word queue can be dated back to the twelfth century when researchers noted its Old French origins. Originating from the word coe, meaning tail, this 15th-century phrase has Latin characteristics, as well. All of that was brushed aside and set by the curb when the term was adopted in popular use in 1924, becoming the de facto way to refer to standing in a line.
Cue, Queue, Que
Queue usage can vary based upon dialect and intention. Homophones are a way to differentiate from the common use of the word. A homophone is simply a word that is pronounced identically to another word while containing a different spelling, meaning, or both.
Examples of common homophones include
- Air / Heir
- Be / Bee
- Know / No
- There / Their / They’re
We can see the same situation manifested when comparing words commonly used mistakenly instead of a queue.
- Q – The letter of the alphabet.
- Que – Not a real word! This is the most common misspelling of the word queue.
- Cue – This term has multiple definitions. A cue can refer to a physical signal or action within a performance to tell a performer to begin an action.
While queues have many different meanings, the team at Ombori Grid is uniquely focused on one specific definition.
Queue Management Systems in Modern Business
The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a change to the world that few could have anticipated. While individuals worldwide focused on their health, businesses were forced to adjust their practices for matters of safety and efficiency. This led to companies turning to Ombori Grid to enjoy their advanced queue management systems. These digital and physical queue management systems provide businesses with the ability to improve productivity while reducing turnover and improving client satisfaction.
Queue management is as much a reality in brick-and-mortar retail locations as it is in the e-commerce world. Don’t let this complicated vowel-fueled word fool you! Let Ombori Grid help your business with its queue management requirements.