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"Iraq words" - Q without U Login/Join
 
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The ubiquity of Iraq in the news has brought a burning question to our attention: what English words have a Q not followed by a U? Doubtless this issue has been the subject of stimulating discussions around your breakfast table, and has troubled your mind through many a sleepless night. This week we present U-less Q-words, enabling you to shock and awe those with whom you converse.

Q-boat; Q-ship - an armed ship disguised as a merchant or fishing ship to decoy enemy submarines into gun range
 
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qiviut - the soft wool lying beneath the long coat of the muskox
[Inuit, pl. of qiviuq = down, underhair]

I know you've been dying to know how to refer to that in your everyday conversations.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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It seems to me that an English transliteration of a Hebrew letter qualifies here. Am I correct?
 
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You certainly are, Asa. Fill out the details and take the credit under your own name!

(Don't to worry; I'll still have enough words to fill the theme. In fact, you'll be helping me out.)

Units of currency:
Albanian qintar: 100 qindarka = 1 lek
Azerbaijani qepiq: 100 qepiq = 1 manat
Israeli sheqel: 100 agorot = 1 sheqel

[This message was edited by wordcrafter on Tue May 6th, 2003 at 18:45.]
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Well, I can't remember how it's spelled, but I think it's Qoph, which also means, "monkey," if my feeble memory is working right.

So, how'd this goy boy do, coach? Big Grin
 
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The British title "Warden of the Cinq Ports" although it's obviously French.

qhat: what
qheche: which
qhom, qhwom: whom
and the well-timed
qhythsontyd: Whitsuntide

Stephen
 
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The OED has over 400 words (not all English but all used in English) that have a Q not followed with as U - And Qantas isn't one of them, being an acronym (although strangely "QWERTY" is)

The OED explains that "QW" was an accepted alternative to "QU" in Middle English - in such words as "Qwench".

Cinq is shown also - it's the number five on a die.

Richard English
 
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Happy 800th post, R.E. Have yourself a beer!


Ref Q-with-no-U words, there's also:

Qative - adj., prepared without the use of oil or water (in reference to Mexican cuisine)
Loq - noun, the iron ring which links a dipping ladle to a well bucket ensuring the ladle is not dropped down the well
Qhehdl (also Qhehdl-fah) - noun, Arabian cutlery specifically designed not to be used as weaponry.
Qay-Qay - noun, species of British finch, now extinct.

I'm making these up as I go along so they may not be in the OED just yet.

CJ, REE
 
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Thank you, I will.

And it will not be canned, pasteurised, filetered, chilled to zero degrees centigrade, adulterated with chemical junk or pressurised with commercially produced carbon dioxide. Indeed, it will be Real Ale and a drink fit for Bacchus himself!

Richard English
 
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Asa has noted qoph, the 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, written קּ. The equivalent letter in the Arabic alphabet is called qaf. What follows is my understanding, but I've very weak on this, so please forgive any errors and do not take it as gospel.

Semitic languages have a sound, not present in English, that is somewhat like the k-sound but is velar: (articulated with the back of the tongue touching or near the soft palate [velum: the soft palate]) and guttural. This sound, represented by the qopf and qaf, has been carried into some non-Arabic languages that have borrowed heavily from Arabic through the spread of Islam, e.g., Persian and Urdu.

Linguists and scholars often transliterate this sound as a q, to distinguish it from the k-sound of English. But ordinary English uses a k or a hard-c in words it borrowed directly or indirectly from Arabic. Examples are Koran, coffee, caravan, canal, canon, and cotton. In a few English words, the use of a q is recognized as a permissible alternate spelling: qabalah (kaballah); faqir (fakir).

The nation of Iraq adopted the q-spelling, for Iraq and Iraqi, upon achieving independence in 1958. In colonial days the usual spelling was Irak.
 
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Iraqnophobia – an unusually strong fear of Iraq, especially its ability to manufacture and use biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons

Iraqnophobia is the American Dialect Society's 2002 selection for the "Most Creative Word" of the year 2002. The Society has published its word choices since 1990, originally calling them "New Words of the Year". The Society later dropped the "new" because it often found, after publishing its selections, that its chosen words or usages were not new at all, but rather were newly-prominent.

"Iraqnophobia" is not brand new. Word Spy gives the "earliest citation" as August 4, 1990, but notes that that it had also appeared the day before in a political cartoon. If the web can be trusted, the word was the title of a 1980 publication by Roger Cass (see bottom of site) . Obviously, this coinage has not achieved dictionary-recognition, at least to date.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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Iraqnaphobia? Is that because the US government is driving us to Iraq and ruin? Roll Eyes
 
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qiana; Qiana - a silklike nylon fabric, introduced by DuPont in 1968. This is a tradename, but is often most often seen without the ® symbol. It is listed in at least one major on-line dictionary as a word, without mention of trademark status.

qwerty - pertaining to the standard keyboard-arrangement of an english-language keyboard.

When Sholes built the first typwriters of what became the successful design, he found that the typebars springing up to the paper would often jam at high speeds. In 1878 he patented the qwerty keyboard as a remedy.

Some say he designed qwerty as an awkward arrangement to slow the typist.
quote:
Sholes had tremendous trouble with the keys jamming if they were hit too closely in succession. The primitive manufacture simply didn't allow each key hit to return to its mooring in time to make way for the next key chosen. Nothing Sholes or his friends did could eliminate the problem. Finally, in desperation, Sholes redesigned the keyboard to force the typist to type more slowly.
Others say the arrangement sped the mechanism by putting commonly-used letter pairs (e.g., th) on typebars that were widely separated, and thus less likely to jam.
quote:
For years, popular writers have accused Sholes of deliberately arranging his keyboard to slow down fast typists who would otherwise jam up his sluggish machine. In fact, his motives were just the opposite. If two typebars were near each other in the circle, they would tend to clash into each other when typed in succession. So, Sholes figured he had to take the most common letter pairs and make sure their typebars hung at safe distances.
The former story seems to me far more convincing. For example, why else would the qwerty keyboard devote the "home-position" of the two strongest fingers to such rare letters as j and k?

[This message was edited by wordcrafter on Sun May 11th, 2003 at 9:45.]
 
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J and K, I presume.

Stephen.
 
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Quite right, Stephen, and duly corrected. Thank you.

Pinyin is the system for representing Chinese words in our alphabet. It often has a Q not followed by a U – and not pronounced at all as you would expect. Here is the story behind this, as told in Lucien W. Pye's letter published in William Safire's column:
quote:
It happened in the 1950s when the Soviet Union was the acknowledged "elder brother" to the newly established Chinese Communist regime and was ready to be helpful in many fields, including alphabetizing the Chinese language. A team of Russian linguists arrived in Beijing, primed to talk the Chinese into adopting the [Russian] Cyrillic script. The head of the Chinese team, Guo Morou, boldly rejected the idea, arguing that the Chinese had already invested far too much in learning and using the Latin alphabet.

With that settled, the two teams proceeded to formulate the pinyin system. When they came to the "ch" sound, the Russians, still making the case for their script, pointed out that the Cyrillic "Ч" [, pronounced "'ch",] was exactly the right letter for the "ch" sound.¹ Guo Morou looked at the character and said, "Why, that looks like a q, so why don't we just use a q for the 'ch' sound."

And that is how we all were cursed with one of the quirkier features of pinyin, and people who don't speak Chinese end up making the strangest sounds as they try to read, for example, "Qing," which is now the silly way of spelling the great Ching dynasty.
 
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Today's newspaper has a chinese q-word that has come to the forefront of modern pop culture.

THE NEXT YOGA: Giving Up on Perfect Pecs, Boomers Embrace Qigong

During the Han Dynasty, Chinese peasants used the ritual of qigong to manage daily stresses such as goiter and invading barbarians.

Two millenniums later, the ancient practice is returning – showing up alongside disco, yoga and aqua aerobics as the hottest trend in stress relief at American spas and health clubs. As the wizened masters cringe, stockbrokers, supermodels and housewives are twisting themselves into poses like "bending bear" and "flying wild goose." The goal is to cultivate "qi" (pronounced "chee"), the Chinese notion of restorative energy that flows through the body.
 
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Here's a newspaper article about qigong.

The link should be good thru June 21, until the article goes to paid archives. For those who see this after that date, here's a excerpt.
quote:
Qigong: an Exercise of the Strong, Silent Type
The word "qigong" is peculiar enough to make one wonder if this form of physical activity can become popular. It can be difficult to get enthusiastic about something you can't pronounce. To eliminate such obstacles, here's a quick primer, compliments of all things "Q":

- "Qi" is pronounced "chee" and means energy, vital force or breath of life. It is sometimes spelled "chi."

- "Gong" is pronounced "gung" (calling it "kung" seems to be acceptable but definitely not "gong"). It translates to practice, skill or mastery. What you are practicing is self-discipline.

- To impress your friends, you can casually mention that qigong once was closely guarded from commoners by Chinese elites. It was later forbidden during the Cultural Revolution, and a recent form has been suspected as a religious cult by the current regime.
 
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