Words That Should Disappear: Queue
I have been incredibly busy in the past couple weeks working on a wide assortment of tasks, studying being the most time-consuming of them all. My weekend consisted of writing pages of notes to study for my wonderful Systems & Networks exam which was Monday morning. Yes, I actually studied for it. One of the more common words I wrote as part of these notes was ‘queue.’
That word needs to die.
Now before you start calling me racist against words that sound like letters, try writing the word “queue.” In cursive. Write it again, but faster. Write it as fast as you would write when not trying to be neat. Now write it a dozen times a page for ten pages.
If you’re anything like me, the word ‘queue’ is now a q followed by a bunch of squiggles. Did you lose track of how many squiggles you wrote after the q? I can usually keep up to the first e, after that I give up and hope it’s legible. The best keyboard approximation I can give for this is ‘q~~~~.’ For an example of what this looks like in my notes, here are just two lines out of the eleven pages I wrote this weekend:
Multilevel Q~~~~ Scheduling
Partitions ready q~~~~ into several separate q~~~~s.
It wasn’t always like this, mind you. There was once a time when Queue and I got along like apples and cinnamon. I paid careful attention to Queue, making sure each u and e was distinct before continuing on to scrawl the next word of notes.Queue was fun and quirky, a strange little word useful in just the right situation.
That was before I became an IT major and Queue was no longer a word rarely procured from graphite at my command. Queue was now commonplace, a usual word among other usual words. It wasn’t just Queue anymore, it was Job Queue, Ready Queue, and Device Queue. I/O Queue and Queue Header. Queues for waiting and Queues for buffering… the Queues went on and on and I grew tired of their demands for attention.
It was a tough breakup. At first, I would still linger at Queue, putting the rest of the sentence on hold to make sure Queue was okay. But the extra time it took to take care of Queue began to add up, and the rest of the words began to suffer. I could no longer postpone my notes for the sake of Queue, and legibility suffered because of it.
Queue quickly became the mess of loops and squiggles it is now, a monstrosity concocted for the sake of saving milliseconds of time. Queue is either legible or easy to write, never both, and this very fact is why it needs to die. For the sake of perfectionists like me.
You are not special, fun, or quirky. You are an ugly nuisance and you need to disappear.