Friday, June 11, 2010
It's time to build your publishing vocabulary. Here are some words that may not be very useful, but may make you smile
Blad: (Book Layout and Design) A blad is a small sample of a book used by salespeople to sell the book. It probably will have the near-final cover design and some typical interior pages, perhaps even complete chapters with images.
Dingbat: Printers’ slang for small, icon-like drawings of hearts, snowflakes, and other shapes and items that can be used to dress up a document. Also, what Archie Bunker frequently called wife Edith on All in the Family.
Flong: One of my favorite words! A flong was originally a dry, papier-mâché mold made from type text which could be curved to fit the cylinder of a rotary press. Later flongs were wet, and made of plastic or rubber.
Gerund: A part of speech frequently used, but seldom thought about after third grade. It’s a noun made from a verb, like “thinking,” “eating,” and “writing.”
Lede: The first sentence or two in a news story, with the most important information. It’s pronounced “leed”, but spelled “lede” to avoid confusion with another typographic term, “lead,” which rhymes with “bread.”
PITA: Pain In the Ass (not limited to publishing). An ISPITA in an Industrial Strength PITA.
Slush pile: Unsolicited manuscripts received by an agent or a publisher and often piled up on a desk, a shelf, or the floor, awaiting evaluation. These are also described as “over the transom” manuscripts. The phrase refers to the horizontal bar above a door and below a hinged window provided for ventilation in an office without air conditioning. Writers allegedly tossed their manuscripts over the transom of a publisher’s office and hoped for the best.
TK: In the graphic arts, it’s shorthand for “To Come,” a notation made on a layout to indicate that an element (such as a photograph or chart) will be provided later and space should be provided for it.