Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q Without U

As we were learning the alphabet and spelling, there were certain sayings which served as rules that provided guidance.  “I” before “E” except after “C” was really helpful in remembering how to spell “niece”, “piece” and numerous other words.  Until one day I realized that “neighbor” and “sleigh” didn’t follow the rule and hence learned the corollary to the rule:  and when the word has a “nay” sound.  I find myself still occasionally muttering the rhyme as I’m writing.

Another rule was “Q” is always followed by “U”, so it was clear how to spell lots of “Q” words such as “quiet”, “quotes”, “quorum” …any “Q” word you picked for today’s A to Z Challenge letter would likely have a “U” following it.

As it turns out, however, not all words with “Q” have “U” immediately following them.  Scrabble has a list of legal words that use “Q” without “U”, which is welcome indeed if you’ve pulled the consonant without the vowel.  Such words include “QADI” (an Islamic judge); “FAQIR” (a Muslim or Hindu monk); and “QWERTY” (the configuration of typewriter and computer keys).

It seems as though there are always exceptions to the rule…


  1. haha that's cool--you do always think of q followed by a u--not now

  2. I absolutely didn't know that the Q-U connection could EVER be broken!!! Oh, the things I am learning...!!! Great post, as always!

  3. I am finding through playing Word with Friends on Facebook how many Q words don't require a U after them. It is indeed eye opening!


  4. I'll have to remember those words when playing Words with Friends!

  5. As a player of Quiddler, I've also learned qi, qat, and qoph. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet is at