The ever-alert Wes Davis points out that Netflix has inexplicably changed the name of the “Instant Queue” to “My List.”
Inexplicably? I don’t think so. More likely a) a concession to the Microsoft generation (My Documents, My Pictures, etc.), or b) a dumbing down for those reading at a certain grade level, a practice common among tech writers and journalists, depending on the publication.
This article http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/21/netflix-my-list/ explains that Netflix has changed how it works. It used to be much more sequential in nature, with the next DVD from a user’s instant queue being posted (mailed) to them but now that on-line streaming dominates it is more like ‘…sort of a collector’s bookshelf…’ with the pattern of viewing being less ordered than before. I’m not one of Netflix’s customers but I think they have a good point in changing the name.
To queue or to queue up? I think we British use (as a verb) ‘queue’ when we feel neutral about it and ‘queue up’ when it is onerous or irksome.
This piece of drivel went round my school playground and ended up in my head: ‘A lady went to the toilet but saw loads of people standing outside. She said
“I C A Q A Q I C I 8 2 Q B 4 I P”
(I see a queue, a queue I see. I ‘ate (hate) to queue before I pee”).
That bring back memories!! But the version I remember began “L O L O”.
When a man has influence he is somebody.
The NOOB has landed.
I wonder if the use of “queue” in that context was actually a NOOB, or rather an instance of tech-speak creeping into the website’s language. While “queue” may be uncommon in ordinary spoken north-American, it is used quite a bit in technology circles, where software like IBM’s WebSphere MQ, TIBCO’s Rendezvouz, and Microsoft’s MSMQ, among many other technologies, make “message queues” a commonly used term among people designing enterprise applications.
And applications of the term such as Cameron mentioned were already common in tech speak when I was helping to design operating systems right after having been graduated from grad school in the 1960s.
Huh. I thought a “queue” had a more specific meaning in computery contexts — a list of things to be done automatically in sequence. So, you “queue up” songs on your iPod when you make a custom playlist, for example.
So a “list” of films to watch would imply you might watch any of them next; a “queue” would imply you were going to watch them in a particular order.
But it’s possible this meaning is as unique to BrE as the “standing in a line” meaning.
This sounds about right to me. When I visited some friends in Seattle who were there on assignment in the 1980s, as we were heading toward the ferry to Bainbridge Island, my American hostess said, “Drivers are very polite here. They like to queue up.)
“Queue up a song” is of course subject to confusion with “cue up a song”, as the words are homophones.
From the New York Times, 12 December 2103:
But if Mr. Wilson was no Angry Young Man, with his lush Romantic hair and roll-neck sweaters he more than looked the part.
Pingback: “Queue” (verb) | Not One-Off Britishisms
A list and a queue are two different things.
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