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What does CQ stand for/where did it come from?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by deskslave, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Someone asked me and I was desperately disappointed in myself not to know.

    And the first wise-ass who says 'Congressional Quarterly' can help themselves to a punch in the face.
  2. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Active Member

    Can't question.
  3. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    You can not be a deskslave and actually have to ask this question.
  4. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    Yeah, I know. It pisses me off. It doesn't mean 'can't question,' though. Does it?

    I know what it means ... I just don't know what it's short for.
  5. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    know what? i'm man enough to say i did not know that. i mean, i know what "cq" means generically but did not know it stood for "can't question."

    truth be told, i was pretty sure it stood for "correct as quoted." live and learn -- even an old dog!
  6. Walter_Sobchak

    Walter_Sobchak Active Member

    Pretty sure that's what it means, unless I've been lied to by myriad colleagues.

    I rationalized it by people putting it with last names/other oddly-spelled phrases that look wrong but aren't (can't question that spelling).
  7. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    See, maybe I argue with that because I've worked at enough places where a reporter putting 'CQ' on something was just an extra sign to double-check the given fact.

    I found a definition for it as an amateur-radio term, which apparently derived from the French word 'securite,' CQ sounding like the first two syllables. I liked that reason a lot more.
  8. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    yes, that's when you use it in parens to alert the deskslaves. but like i said, i thought "correct as quoted" was the deal. as long as we know what it means in the general sense i suppose it's not important to know the literal interpretation.

    but another piece of knowledge never hurts! :D :D :D
  9. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    CQ: A copyediting notation, to signify that an unusual-looking spelling or word usage has been double-checked, based originally on the Latin phrase cadit quaestio
  10. golfnut8924

    golfnut8924 Guest

    How is CQ different from sic? Is sic just for names?
  11. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    ... which translates literally as ``the question falls'' or ``the question drops.'' Apparently, that's a legal term that means the argument collapses and the issue is no longer in question. I guess that sort of applies in that when you put CQ by something, it supposedly settles the issue about how to spell it.
  12. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    To start with, the difference is CQ is an editing mark and should never make it into print. Sic is pointing out to the reader that this is how someone else spelled or phrased something and we're quoting it even though wee know it's wrong. CQ is to tell the editor that this is spelled correctly, so don't change Dwyane Wade's name to Dwayne.
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