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-   -   Perk, or perq? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=668404)

Johnny L.A. 10-11-2012 09:22 AM

Perk, or perq?
 
I often see people write that they receive 'perks'. I never see them write that they receive 'perqs'.

Is a perquisite a 'perq', or a 'perk'?

(And is free office coffee a 'perk perq'?)

TriPolar 10-11-2012 09:25 AM

I've always seen it spelled as 'perk'. I imagine a lot of people think it's called that because it's a benefit that would 'perk you up'.

johnpost 10-11-2012 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. (Post 15579150)
(And is free office coffee a 'perk perq'?)

that would be a perc perk.

Saint Cad 10-11-2012 09:55 AM

perq for "perquisite"

Colophon 10-11-2012 09:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saint Cad (Post 15579260)
perq for "perquisite"

It comes from "perquisite", but the usual spelling is with a K. In fact my dictionary doesn't list "perq" at all, but has sense 3 of "perk" as "British informal, short for perquisite".

pulykamell 10-11-2012 10:24 AM

I have never in my life seen it spelled with a "q" nor would I ever spell it with a "q." "Perq" just looks stupid to me. "Perk" is how an English speaker would normally spell that word, and that's what I go for. Just like "trank" is short for "tranquilizer." (Although Scrabble will accept it with a "q", it's not the standard spelling, and not included in Merriam-Webster or American Heritage dictionaries.)

Siam Sam 10-11-2012 10:28 AM

Always "perq," because it's short for "perquisite."

EDIT: I take that back. When I think about it, I use "perq," but I think just writing along I probably use "perk."

Johanna 10-11-2012 10:30 AM

Being from Cleveland, I favor "perq," because the spelling with -k is a reminder of a 1970s mayor we'd like to forget.

panache45 10-11-2012 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Siam Sam (Post 15579390)
Always "perq," because it's short for "perquisite."

And I suppose you shorten "refrigerator" as "frig"? :dubious:

KneadToKnow 10-11-2012 10:36 AM

Yes, it's short for perquisite. It's still perk.

Saint Cad 10-11-2012 10:38 AM

I've learned over the years that something is not correct simply because many or most people believe it.

The abbreviation for perquisite is "perq". That is how it was spelled when it first started entering common usage. Now get off my lawn dammit and stop changing my language.
Most of those weird laws you read about are not laws at all. Notice no one can ever give you a citation for them.
Ditto those wacky law suit decisions. That meme can be tracked to a specific article in a law jounal.
Al Gore did not win an Academy Award. Davis Guggenheim did.
David Rice Atchison was never president, even for a day.
Cats do not spell "has" with a "z" nor do they substitute it for the phrase "have a"

TriPolar 10-11-2012 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saint Cad (Post 15579434)
Cats do not spell "has" with a "z" nor do they substitute it for the phrase "have a"

Cite?

pulykamell 10-11-2012 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panache45 (Post 15579402)
And I suppose you shorten "refrigerator" as "frig"? :dubious:

Some people do this. Drives me nuts as I always trip over that word spelled that way, unless it's being used as a substitute for "fuck." "Fridge," people, "fridge."

TriPolar 10-11-2012 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 15579472)
Some people do this. Drives me nuts as I always trip over that word spelled that way, unless it's being used as a substitute for "fuck." "Fridge," people, "fridge."

Yes, 'fridge' is the Mercan word for refrigerator. It's worth 4 points.

Freakenstein 10-11-2012 11:37 AM

I had no idea what 'perquisite' is so I checked it from My English-Finnish dictionary. It told me to look the first definition of 'perk'...

Saint Cad 10-11-2012 11:51 AM

Here's another thread on the topic on a different board. Worth reading if only for post #4 and the francophobe post #6.

Ethilrist 10-11-2012 11:55 AM

It should be "perq", but you always follow a "q" with a "u" in English, and "perqu" would look damn weird, even if the "u" was silent, so "perk" it is.

Gymnopithys 10-11-2012 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnpost (Post 15579242)
that would be a perc perk.


Perchè ?

pulykamell 10-11-2012 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ethilrist (Post 15579712)
It should be "perq", but you always follow a "q" with a "u" in English, and "perqu" would look damn weird, even if the "u" was silent, so "perk" it is.

It's "shouldn't" be anything. Just like "refrigerator" doesn't become "frig" when shortened, but "fridge," "nucular" becomes "nuke," "microphone" becomes "mike," (although "mic" is sometimes used) "perquisite" becomes "perk." It doesn't matter what the root word is; it's spelled in a way that reflects the way it sounds. Just because a word is a truncation of a longer word doesn't mean it should be spelled simply as a truncation of the longer word.

Jas09 10-11-2012 12:18 PM

The thing is, I'm pretty sure tranquilizer is most commonly shorted to tranq.

Ludovic 10-11-2012 12:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jas09 (Post 15579805)
The thing is, I'm pretty sure tranquilizer is most commonly shorted to tranq.

I was about to say the same thing. I'm not sure if I've ever seen it spelled "trank", and if I had, I wouldn't immediately know what it meant except in context ,as opposed to "perk" vs "perq", both of which are immediately obvious (albeit with multiple possible meanings for the former.)

panache45 10-11-2012 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 15579785)
. . . "nucular" becomes "nuke," . . .

No, there can't be a shortened version of something that itself is not a word.

pulykamell 10-11-2012 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by panache45 (Post 15579836)
No, there can't be a shortened version of something that itself is not a word.

Wow. How did I do that? I'm slipping. Nuclear.

Dr. Drake 10-11-2012 12:31 PM

This is the same phenomenon that changed "mike" (short for "microphone") to "mic," which always sounds like "mick" in my head.

Personally, I favor perqu, but I'm weird that way.

pulykamell 10-11-2012 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jas09 (Post 15579805)
The thing is, I'm pretty sure tranquilizer is most commonly shorted to tranq.

Well, neither dictionary.com nor m-w.com have a listing for it. My OS X dictionary finds "tranq" under the main definition "trank" listing it as "(also tranq)".

That said, "tranq shot" does indeed return a hell of a lot more (>10x) results than "trank shot."

ETA: However, "animal trank" returns about 5K, and "animal tranq" about 4K.

Johanna 10-11-2012 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gymnopithys (Post 15579743)
Perchè ?

Just perchè.

CookingWithGas 10-11-2012 02:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gymnopithys (Post 15579743)
Perchè ?

Butter.

BigT 10-12-2012 02:47 PM

Perk. I didn't even know of the existence of the word perquisite. And knowing that word is the only reason you'd allow such a nonstandard spelling as having a q at the end of a word, without a ue. (Iraq excluded because it's foreign.) That's why tranq still exists--everyone knows it means tranquilizer.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 15579158)
I've always seen it spelled as 'perk'. I imagine a lot of people think it's called that because it's a benefit that would 'perk you up'.

Not quite, but close enough. I always assumed the derivation was similar. I seriously just learned of the existence of perquisite in the last couple of weeks. And I'm someone who always maxes out on those quizzes that test your vocabulary. (It was actually one of the things that my psychiatrist used to discover I had OCD.)

Johnny L.A. 10-12-2012 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 15584521)
Perk. I didn't even know of the existence of the word perquisite.

And now it's on a message board where someone else might discover it. ;)

CC 10-12-2012 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 15584521)
Perk. I didn't even know of the existence of the word perquisite. And knowing that word is the only reason you'd allow such a nonstandard spelling as having a q at the end of a word, without a ue. (Iraq excluded because it's foreign.) That's why tranq still exists--everyone knows it means tranquilizer.



Not quite, but close enough. I always assumed the derivation was similar. I seriously just learned of the existence of perquisite in the last couple of weeks. And I'm someone who always maxes out on those quizzes that test your vocabulary. (It was actually one of the things that my psychiatrist used to discover I had OCD.)

I'm thinking that there's a generational distinction here between the people who didn't know perquisite was even a word and those who do. As we've seen here, lots of people know the word, perk (the reasonable way to spell it), and don't even know it's derivation. That's because the word, perquisite, is no longer in common use, but perk is. But if you're old enough, and god knows many of us are, you will recognize the word on a vocabulary test. That's also probably true for lots of words. (Hijacking my own thread - many years ago I had to take the GRE. I had been out of school for quite some time. Results showed I killed the written portion, but didn't do as well in the math. What I remember about the math was that it had several questions of a type that I had NEVER seen before, and so struggled with to solve by my old-fashioned ways. I figured that younger people taking the test would be familiar with those types of questions and would do better on them, having learned some easier or quicker ways of figuring them out, but I was plenty well-groomed in grammar and language use, as opposed to many of the "kids" taking the test, who had gone through school when those things received less emphasis.)

Colibri 10-12-2012 03:58 PM

Merriam-Webster:

Quote:

perk noun
plural perks
1 : something extra that someone receives in addition to regular pay for doing a job — usually plural ▪ The job came with several perks, including use of a company car.
2 : a good thing that you have or get because of your situation — usually plural ▪ One of the perks of being a celebrity is that people often want to give you things.
Dictionary.com

Quote:

perk  
noun (Informal).
perquisite.
Origin:
1815–25; by shortening and respelling
The Free Dictionary

Quote:

perk (pûrk)
n. Informal
A perquisite: "Temper tantrums over perks are more common than the American taxpayer might like to believe" (Maureen Dowd).

The word is spelled "perk." There is no English word "perq."

Colophon 10-12-2012 05:22 PM

Something else I discovered by looking this up is that apparently in Australia "perk up" means "to vomit". Does it also have the "cheer or liven up" meaning in addition?

Richard Pearse 10-12-2012 06:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colophon (Post 15585057)
Something else I discovered by looking this up is that apparently in Australia "perk up" means "to vomit". Does it also have the "cheer or liven up" meaning in addition?

I haven't heard it used here for vomit, but I have heard it used for "cheer up" and someone who is "perky" is in good spirits. I wonder if the vomit use is out dated, or restricted to a particular population.

CookingWithGas 10-13-2012 07:28 AM

As long as we're at it, the word perk existed long before coffee percolators but once it came to be used as a short form of percolate, it became confused with the original meaning, polluting the meaning of percolate. Percolate means filter gradually, not "violently toss something up and make a popping noise." :)

Landscapers speak of a perk test meaning to measure at what rate water is absorbed and filters through the soil (although they may spell it perc).

Saint Cad 10-13-2012 07:32 AM

Anyone know where the OED stands on this highly contraversial issue?

Johanna 10-13-2012 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CookingWithGas (Post 15586421)
Percolate means filter gradually, not "violently toss something up and make a popping noise." :)

Landscapers speak of a perk test meaning to measure at what rate water is absorbed and filters through the soil (although they may spell it perc).

Its literal meaning in Latin is 'go through a colander' (or sieve, or or strainer, or filter). Per- means 'go all the way through to the other side'. Colum means 'colander' (or sieve/strainer/filter).

Cheshire Human 10-13-2012 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 15579785)
. . . "nucular" becomes "nuke," . . .

Quote:

Originally Posted by panache45 (Post 15579836)
No, there can't be a shortened version of something that itself is not a word.

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 15579849)
Wow. How did I do that? I'm slipping. Nuclear.

I blame Bush.

I can't believe no one beat me to that... You're slipping, people. Especially you Lefties. No more perks for you!

Colibri 10-13-2012 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheshire Human (Post 15587305)
No more perks for you!

Lefties don't perk their coffee anyway - they use drip coffeemakers.;)

BrotherCadfael 10-13-2012 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 15579785)
I"nucular" becomes "nuke,"

Nuclear physics ain't so new, and it ain't so clear!

TriPolar 10-13-2012 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheshire Human (Post 15587305)
I blame Bush.

I can't believe no one beat me to that... You're slipping, people. Especially you Lefties. No more perks for you!

IIRC Carter also said nucular. It shouldn't have been used as evidence of Bush's lack of intelligence. It was only approriate in parody as a mannerism.

Also, going back about 20 years, my 5 year old wanted to get nuclear Pepsi. It was actually the short lived Clear Pepsi, which was new.

Johnny L.A. 10-13-2012 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 15587383)
Also, going back about 20 years, my 5 year old wanted to get nuclear Pepsi. It was actually the short lived Clear Pepsi, which was new.

When I was five, a waitress asked me if I wanted soup or salad. I said 'Super salad!'

Lamia 10-13-2012 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saint Cad (Post 15586432)
Anyone know where the OED stands on this highly contraversial issue?

Yes, I just did a search on "perq" and it redirected me to "perk". "Perq" is listed as a variant form, but all the quotations (the earliest is from 1869) use "perk". I see nothing to indicate that the "perq" spelling was ever commonly used or that it predated "perk".

There's a note in the etymology section that says "Compare earlier Scots pirkuz", with a quote from 1824 defining "pirkuz" as "any kind of perquisite".

Cheshire Human 10-13-2012 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colibri (Post 15587334)
Lefties don't perk their coffee anyway - they use drip coffeemakers.;)

And a mod says this, no less...

You do have a point about drips. BUT, you should have your coffee cup taken away, for that. Keep the 'jackboots'. We don't care about that one. I use a proper percolator for my coffee...

Quote:

Originally Posted by TriPolar (Post 15587383)
IIRC Carter also said nucular.

At least Carter was a proper 'Nuclear [note the spelling] Officer'. He may have been an idiot. I make express no judgment on that point.

Spectre of Pithecanthropus 10-14-2012 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Colophon (Post 15579274)
It comes from "perquisite", but the usual spelling is with a K. In fact my dictionary doesn't list "perq" at all, but has sense 3 of "perk" as "British informal, short for perquisite".

I've always seen "perk", never perq.

Kenm 10-14-2012 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigT (Post 15584521)
Perk. I didn't even know of the existence of the word perquisite.

And now you'll come across it 100 times in the next week.
Quote:

And knowing that word is the only reason you'd allow such a nonstandard spelling as having a q at the end of a word, without a ue.
Though the Q appears at the beginning, this esteemed physician shuns the u.

Colibri 10-14-2012 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kenm (Post 15589563)
Though the Q appears at the beginning, this esteemed physician shuns the u.

But Qadgop is an alien with a zymolosely polydactile tongue, and his name is not English but Mercotan.

Non-English names often include a "q" without a "u," notably Iraq (and the Iraqi Tariq Aziz).

Cheshire Human 10-14-2012 10:17 PM

So, should we start spelling it Qolibri, now? Them hummingbirds have rather bizarre tongues.

Colibri 10-14-2012 10:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheshire Human (Post 15590686)
So, should we start spelling it Qolibri, now? Them hummingbirds have rather bizarre tongues.

Actually, I prefer the spelling Huitzilopochtli.

Cheshire Human 10-15-2012 02:58 AM

So you're saying your tongue is in your left cheek?


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