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Barbecue or Barbeque

4029 Views 22 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Steve Silkin
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Born and raised in Texas, I've only ever seen it spelled barbecue or BBQ (okay, and Bar-B-Que). If you don't like acronyms, I'd stick with barbecue. Now, I'm no expert, but I imagine the Q in BBQ is short for "cue."
no matter which way you spell it, some people will think you're right, some will think you're wrong, and some will just want some ribs.....
DDark said:
I also live in Texas and I've never seen it spelled Barbecue (except at Dickey's, and I don't care for them). I changed it to the "C", but it just does not look right to me. I wonder if it's going to be one of those regional things, the same way we have international variances of words like grey/gray. Sigh.
Could be :) But if it were me, I would think barbeque is a typo. And it's weird that KB spell check tells you barbecue is incorrect, but tells me barbeque is wrong!
DDark said:
Wow, KB is trying to start a debate. Now it's telling me they're both right. ::)
This reminds me of when I had a line in my book "...then you've got another thing coming."

And a beta pointed out that it should be "think".
I agree that each spelling is going to have its fans, so it's one of those cases in which you can't please everyone (so you've got to please yourself).    8)

(Oh, and I believe it's "you've got another think coming."  As in, if you think X, you've got another think (Y) coming.)
some will just want some ribs.....
Hmm, I'm having a strange craving . . .
T.L. Haddix said:
Think is the original, I believe. Thing is the popular after it became corrupted, and is now as accepted as the original.
Indeed. I recall seeing a fairly hot debate about this a while back on another writing forum. I can't remember when or where, but I believe that the final decision was that both "think" and "thing" are acceptable now. It was originally "think" as "thing" doesn't make much sense. Still, I fall into the "thing" category. I always thought it looked better on paper. Judas Priest agrees. Not that they're anyone to judge grammar or language, but still. ;D
T.L. Haddix said:
Depends on if you're a Priest fan. I like them. My hubby's a metalhead.

That reminds me of this story hubby tells about the Guns N Roses song "Welcome to the Jungle." There's a line in it that says "It gets worse here every day." One of his classmates in high school argued that "worser" was, too, a word. GNR said so in the song. "Worse here" sounded like "worser."
I am a card-carrying metalhead myself, as well as a huge fan of Priest. As for "worser," that makes me cringe! I wouldn't have been able to stop the imminent face palm in that situation.
Pretty sure "barbecue" is the original spelling. The Q was added later (possibly from the abbreviations BBQ and Bar-B-Q).

My eldest son says "worser" and drives me nuts. I'm hoping I'll train him out of it before he moves out of the house. :p

T.L. Haddix said:
I cannot hear "Welcome to the Jungle" without thinking of that story and laughing. Of course, this was also at the Christian high school Glendon went to, where his Use Your Illusion CDs got confiscated. Just sayin'.
Haha. I can't imagine a Christian school being terribly happy about one of their students rocking out to "Get in the Ring." :)
tipsy telstar said:
no matter which way you spell it, some people will think you're right, some will think you're wrong, and some will just want some ribs.....
And some will post reviews saying you didn't edit. ;)

On the "now you've got another think/thing coming" debate, I've normally found this site pretty accurate (and it agrees with what I've always heard except from Judas Priest):
DDark said:
Music has been making English teachers crazy since Lay down Sally.
i'm pretty sure music has been making English teachers crazy for as long as there have been both English teachers and songs...
DDark said:
It's mentioned a few times in my new book and something prompted me to look it up. I have always spelled it barbeque, and I live right near a Spring Creek Barbeque. ;D Then Google kept trying to correct it to barbeCue. <--- Yet Kindleboards spell check is trying to say that barbeCue is incorrect. ???
I saw that using the "C" is the standard spelling, perhaps by root of the word. But is this a big deal? I'm tempted to shorten it, but I don't like acronyms in my book because they tend to leap out on the page at you.
Solve your dilemma by using the Aussie version: barbie. :)
I'm from Texas too ;D I only ever see it BBQ or barbecue.

The extra B is for Q.
Maybe this was already mentioned, but:

Wikipedia says: The word barbecue has attracted several inaccurate origins from folk etymology. An often-repeated claim is that the word is derived from the French language. The story goes that French visitors to the Caribbean saw a goat being cooked whole and described the method as barbe à queue, meaning "from beard to tail". The French word for barbecue is also barbecue, and the "beard to tail" explanation is regarded as false by most language experts. The only merit is that it relies on the similar sound of the words, a feature common in folk-etymology explanations.Another claim states that the word BBQ came from the time when roadhouses and beer joints with pool tables advertised "Bar, Beer and Cues". According to this tale, the phrase was shortened over time to BBCue, then BBQ.
tipsy telstar said:
no matter which way you spell it, some people will think you're right, some will think you're wrong, and some will just want some ribs.....
Whichever way you spell it, the most important thing is to be consistent. Most people know there is more than one way to spell barbecue (or barbeque) but they will accept your spelling if you don't switch back and forth. If you aren't consistent, they will think you just don't know how to spell it. Over the years I've worked with writers who had a style sheet listing how they wanted certain words spelled to help them or anyone editing their work keep things consistent.
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