Joni, As Allen pointed out SEGUE
, which is pronounced ‘segway,’ is the word you are looking for. However, I would like to add, for those who are interested, a few more tidbits.
It was first used as a verb in music (1740) to describe “a transition directly from one section or theme to another” and that was the only sense, as far as I can tell, in which it was used for more than two centuries. However, up until the 1950s or so it was only used as a serious musicological term. After that it began also to be used in music, as the OED
puts it, as ‘slang’:
<“Of a person or music: to move without interruption from one song or melody to another.”>
But I doubt that anyone would consider it slang today even though the OED
lists it in this sense as such (see 1958 quote). And it wasn’t until very recently (earliest example I could find was from 1972) that it went outside of music and took on the more general meaning of moving smoothly and unhesitatingly from one state, activity, topic, condition, situation, scene, part, or element to another.” A modern synonym would be ‘transition,’ which itself was ‘verbized’ in 1975. And as a noun SEQUE
describes any such smooth transition from one thing to another. [From Italian, there follows, third-person singular, present tense of 'seguire,’ to follow, from Vulgar Latin ‘sequere,’ from Latin ‘sequ.’]
I actually recall the first time I heard what at the time was considered the vesry IN word SEGUE
. It was in the late 1970s while I was in graduate school and my thesis advisor was prepping me for a talk I was to give at a physics conference. So he tells me that at a certain point I should SEGUE
from one topic to another. I knew what he meant from the context, but I had never heard the word before. So I went back to my apartment and was hunting through dictionaries to find it. The odd spelling didn’t help much and I guess I eventually asked someone who put me on the right track.
Before famed inventor Dean Kamen unveiled his ‘Human Transporter’ in 2001, there was tremendous speculation in the media about what it was and what it would be called, and in the buildup to its introduction it even received a code name – ‘Ginger.’ The invention was to be a great advance that would affect humankind for generations to come. Many speculated that he had perfected some revolutionary new type of superefficent engine. When it was revealed what his invention actually was – the Segway
(a play on ‘segue’ – a smooth way to get from one place to another) as described by Allen and Bob above, many were sorely disappointed. However, in my humble opinion it really was a great invention that will
become a common form of transportation for generations to come. The problem with it right now is mainly price – about $5000. As the price falls to that of a decent bicycle, I think they will eventually be just as ubiquitous.
<1740 “SEGUE, it follows, or comes after; this word is often found before aria, alleluja, amen”—‘A Musical Dictionary’ by J. Grassineau, page 214>
<1958 “Then, without stopping, the guitarist and Ellington SEGUED into Body and soul.”—‘Decca Book of Jazz’ by D. Halperin, xx. page 250>
<1962 “The Haydn selection reached the oboe part—melody SEGUED and started to build.”—‘The Damned and the Destroyed’ (1966) by K, Orvis, iii. page 26>
<1972 “The crowds . . . let up a roar which soon SEGUED into a mixture of cheers, jeers, jests, gibes.”—‘Burning Sappho’ by G. Baxt, v. page 78>
<1976 “The organist . . . SEGUED resonantly from ‘In the Garden’ to ‘Rock of Ages.’—“Muir’s Blood” (1978) by C. Larson, xxv. page 135>
<1978 “How do the world's most celebrated adolescents [sc. the Rolling Stones] SEGUE into middle age?”—‘Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock’ by Logan & Wolffinden, page 199/1>
<1996 “The trick is to get into enough minds the idea that a movie to see is coming. If this is done inexpensively, Hollywood will SEGUE from red to green. ‘Time Magazine,’ 26 August>
<2006 “How did you SEGUE from TV to film?”— ‘Time Magazine,’ 3 April>
(Oxford English Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, Merriam-Webster’s and Random House Unabridged Dictionaries
Ken G – April 6, 2006