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Segue or Not to Segway
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Segue or Not to Segway

by Antoinette M. Franks, CET


Segue or Not to Segway

One thing we run into often in the world of transcription that we live in is the constant challenge of homonyms. For most, it's a nonissue because they execute the majority of their communication verbally or through informal email and text. But for us, homonyms can have the effect of a natural disaster in our documents. We talk about the common occurrences: its versus it's; there, their, or they're, lets or let's. Obviously, they are the ones that wreak the most havoc because of their potential frequency. I have noticed, however, that we never address the not-so-common occurrences, and you'd be surprised that they may not be all that uncommon.

In the recent past, I have encountered an increasing occurrence of one set of homonyms, Segway versus segue. The sight of its misuse in a document never dulls because of the visual that accompanies it upon sight, as well as the immediate giggle that follows afterwards. Your witness is in the midst of testimony. The attorney decides to change topics, and here it comes. "Mr. Smith, I'm now going to Segway into another topic." Now some may say why is that capitalized or even okay, I don't get it. If you've ever misused the word, have you ever wondered why, when you use Segway and type it in lowercase, Word puts that beautiful red line below it? Well, that's because although it sounds like the word you want to use, and is probably the spelling you're most familiar with of the two, it is not, unless your attorney has now put on a helmet and is suddenly riding that two-wheeled motorized human transporter through the courtroom. Segway is the company that manufactures that fun looking riding apparatus.

Segue, also pronounced [seɡwā], an uninterrupted or smooth transition from one thing to another, is the word we would all be looking to use in this instance. So before you go to type Segway and give your proofer or reader their giggle for the day, just visualize that theatrical attorney in your head enjoying his two-wheeling ride back and forth through the courtroom while conducting his examination, and you'll never misuse the word again.


By Antoinette Franks, AAERT Certified Electronic Transcriber




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