It never fails. If I give a non-qigong-doer one of my “Qi Frontier” business cards, he or she will peer at the card, begin to say “kw”—and then stop.
The “q” in qi should be followed by a “u,” but it is not, and u-less q’s simply cannot be pronounced within the rules of the English language.
I’m learning to point and say “Qi Frontier” as I present my card, but there’s no getting around the fact that a “q” followed by an “i” is a real stopper—and not just for people trying to decipher my business card.
Why, then, did I choose “qi” and “qigong” over “chi” and “chi-gung,” which are obsolete but easier-to-pronounce spellings of the Chinese words for “life energy” and “life energy cultivation”? Continue reading