segue » segway

Classification: English – cross-language

Spotted in the wild:

  • Another segway into the introduction is to start it with a little anecdote (or story). (BookRags, How to Write a Five Paragraph Essay)
  • Overall, this little book offers much as a solid segway into intro Perl programming for bioinformatics. (link)
  • It was a small room, just next to the front desk. So, sometimes I’d catch a wink here or there and just drift off. This dream always segwayed into the next dream. (link)
  • A prior degree of knowledge of both wine and wine politics is needed to get the best out of this film, as otherwise the shaky hand-held camera work, flitting from language to language (with subtitles) and relentless segwaying of one story into another makes the “plot” difficult to follow. (
  • The second X-Files movie may or may not reveal straight undisputeable facts, but the last episode was still a great closer and segway into the movie, which I sure as hell can’t wait for. (allscifi forum, March 10, 2004)
  • The rest of the paragraph should be spent arguing this one point. Don’t segway into another point. You want coherent writing, not chaos. (Izzy's Guide to Starting & Running an Underground Paper)

Analyzed or reported by:

_Segway_ is a brand name for a motorized one-person stand-up vehicle reminiscent of a wheelchair or a lawn-mower. On the other hand, _segue_, a borrowing from Italian, means “move smoothly and unhesitatingly from one state, condition, situation, or element to another”, or, as a noun, denotes such a transition.

In some of the occurrences of the eggcorn, the (simpler) substitution of the semantically convincing _way_ for the obscure second syllable _-ue_ might be have happened. At the end of Mark Liberman’s article, Ben Zimmer and Rich Baldwin show that the change in spelling can be unrelated to and predate the motorized contraption.

| link | entered by Chris Waigl, 2005/08/18 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Sandi , 2005/08/19 at 12:46 am

    Until the Segway machine came out I heard many people pronounce segue as ’segg’ or ’seg-ooh’

  2. 2

    Commentary by ACW , 2005/08/23 at 8:04 pm

    What was especially intriguing about Spin Bunny’s gaffe was that the bunny heard the word used as a verb, and interpreted it as a novel verbing of the brand-name. The speaker was probably perfectly familiar with segue, but Spin Bunny was not, and blogged a language peeve about the putative verbing.

  3. 3

    Commentary by Carrie , 2005/08/26 at 7:04 pm

    Another interesting tidbit: in one of the Spin Bunny comments, a poster offers the word “segueway,” mistaking the letters “-ue” for silent ones (as is the case more commonly, in words like fugue and tongue and dialogue).

  4. 4

    Commentary by Erik Kowal , 2006/10/29 at 8:10 am

    One factor that would tend to promote the eggcorn in some situations is the awkwardness of the final vowel combination that would be involved in turning the borrowed Italian word into the gerund ’segueing’. This spelling, while correct technically, offers no clue to anyone unfamiliar with the word’s Italian origin regarding how to pronounce it correctly, whereas how ’segwaying’ would be pronounced is pretty obvious.

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