So how do you spell that word? While helping my buddy look for errors on his new project page, I noticed that he had spelled this word as “queueing”, which looked wrong to me. One too many e’s. You usually drop those silent e’s when you form a past participle: “use” becomes “using”, “glue” becomes “gluing”, and so forth. “But that’s how the people I work for spell it”, he says, and indeed they do.
Since I wasn’t sure about the spelling, the first thing I did was search Google for the word “queuing” to see if Google would offer to correct my spelling, which it didn’t. But you can also search Google for “queueing” and it won’t correct you either. Google has a pretty complete dictionary, and it doesn’t tend to make mistakes on spelling.
According to some, “queueing” is the only word in the English language that features five vowels in a row — assuming that it is spelled “queueing”. Spelled “queuing” it only has four vowels in a row, making it no better than “aqueous”, “obsequious” or “Louie”. The idea that a word could actually have five vowels in a row seems silly to me.
My trusty Abridged Oxford English Dictionary has the word “queue” but not the word “queuing” or “queueing”. But then again, it’s old and doesn’t list the word “microprocessor” either. Maybe the word is so new that there is no accepted spelling of it yet. A newer dictionary like the one in Abiword will tell you that “queueing” is correct when you use the Canadian English dictionary. Switch it to the American dictionary and “queuing” becomes correct. Is it a Canadian spelling versus American spelling thing? Americans have been spelling things wrong for years (colour and honour are some examples), but I suspect that it was American network researchers who invented the word in the first place. And who decides what’s the correct spelling of new English words anyway?
So which one is the correct one? I really don’t know.