Are we spelling it "barbeque" now?

I don’t have cite. All I know is I really enjoy a good barbeque in a colourful theatre.

Indeed, I have literally never seen it spelled barbecue. Is this some kind of regionalism?

What region are you in?

If you’re not located in the US, then you might consider it an American regionalism. If you are located in the US, then check out the barbecue sauces next time when you’re out shopping and see how they spell it, if they spell out “barbecue.” It’ll most likely be spelled “barbecue.”

If you don’t like the subject of this thread, you could always use ketchup (or is it catsup?)

Just so it’s Heinz. As we say in Pittsburgh, Hunts is for . . .

Because when we talk about this kind of “evolution,” in general, spelling is not considered language. Spelling is simply how we record language on paper (or screens). The word itself hasn’t changed–just the spelling.

In a loosely analogous way we don’t say that changes in hairstyle through the ages reflect evolution of human physiology.

This is almost certainly the source of the popularizing of the que spelling in the US. Searching Newspaperarchive for the term BBQ in the US 1900-1950, you get only 10 hits. All in 1940-1950. So, if BBQ influenced the rise of barbeque, we’d expect the ratio of hits for que vs. cue to increase after 1950 or so. And it does.

[ul]1850-1900 cue=20,000 que=68 294:1
1901-1920 cue=36,800 que=323 113:1
1921-1940 cue=158K que=3768 155:1
1940-1950 cue=180K que=7K 25:1
1951-1960 cue=431K que=30K 14:1[/ul]

Searching Newsbank for Australian newspapers use the last 20+ years, cue=198K hits vs. 4K hits for que

Newspaper archive hits for Canadian newspapers 1900-2014 shows 81K hits for cue vs 17K hits for que.

“Barbecue” is used in some trade names. That’s when I will allow it. I am an editor; I get to make decisions like that.

Show me a style guide from The Economist, The Guardian, The Times, or a similar authoritative source that explicity designates “barbeque” as the preferred spelling over “barbecue” and then you have the start of an argument that it represents a standard outside the United States.

Okay, I’ll accept your nationality-based challenge and counter with the claim that barbecue is characteristically American and it is a method of preparing food and, secondarily, food that has been prepared using that method. I reject challenges from countries where they think that “barbecue” is name for a cooking appliance (an outdoor grill) or a social event (a cookout). :wink:

One point of data: I did find an Australian style guide online from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and they cast a vote in favor of “barbecue”:

ETA: Guardian and Observer also vote “barbecue.”

ETA2: As does the Telegraph. “barbecue: not barbeque.”


(At any rate, it appears that it is not solely an American regionalism.)

Okay, I’ll accept your nationality-based challenge and counter with the claim that barbecue is characteristically American

Bollocks . Barbeque is an Australian national pastime .

Note the next sentence, please.

Well, there you go. Even in Australia, it looks like “barbecue” is the standard spelling. To the extent that “barbeque” might be common on labels of commercial products or in casual uses, it’s really no different from “creem” or “E-Z.”

Barbeque is debatable but I’m still trying to figure out

Incidentally, I also searched on “Barbeque” on the Coles supermarket website, and all the product labels for barbecue products has it spelled either as “barbecue” or “BBQ.” Only a couple descriptions have it as “barbeque.” (Oh, Coles is an Australian supermarket chain.)

This is my theory as well. As a (possibly long-term) test, let us see if the abbreviation “sub-q” ever leads to the new (Australian) word subqutaneous.

Aw, shit. Too late.

I once read a Sci Fi story – scratch that – I read a literary work which was included in a Sci Fi anthology, called something like “Towards a More Creative Spelling”, that appeared to be a collection of sentences culled from other literary works in which the word biscuit was spelled bisquit.

I did not understand it. Still don’t. Did anyone else read that “story”?

Blardey Uncultured Cretin!! Don’t you know anything? :wink:

An appliance uses elektrikity…a grill is what your oven does to cheese toasties.

A barbeque is what happens in a half 44 gallon drum with charcoal.

And the best thing is some cold stubbies and paua patties on the barbie for christmas lunch.

Coles also has 6 products listed as “sherbert” in the description, but where you can read the word on the packaging it’s clearly “sherbet”. Let’s not pretend they are an authority on spelling. They are a supermarket chain.