Word Ways

Article Title

Must You Join the Queue?


A. Ross Eckler


One of the most enduring pieces of orthographic folklore is the assertion that the letter Q in a word is always followed by the letter U. The staunchest defenders of this rule are unruffled by the counterexample Iraq, for this is a foreign proper name and not a genuine English word; similarly, they quickly dismiss Qantas (an Australian airline) and Qiana (a synthetic fabric) as tradenames designed to attract notice.