Real Mistakes, Real Laughs:

Air bases were built on captured islands of Tinian, Saipan, and Guam but they were barley within the range of the long-range bombers.

(hope the bombadiers weren't on gluten-free diets)

Didn't catch the typo? Scroll to bottom of page

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Industry-Speak: The Meaning Behind the Vernacular

It's a good thing I've never been motivated to achieve executive stature in the business world. I'd fail miserably, not because I lack the smarts, but I am not a game player. You know, all those little hoops you have to jump through (which usually have nothing to do with your job) in order to get ahead: kissing up to unethical and unlikeable personnel who supposedly have influence over your advancement; doing something not kosher and definitely against your principles, but told by your boss it's "for the good of the company..."

And every business has a code, its own secret language of euphemisms designed to preclude any legal repercussions resulting from what amounts to unacceptable or downright illegal comments or actions. I can think of one shining example, but I'll save that for another day. Suffice it to say that I was instrumental in bringing down a self-styled Lord of the Realm (his affectations included pipe smoking and saying "shedule" instead of "schedule") who failed to intimidate me with threats of "disciplinary action" when I refused to disclose personal information.

Fortunately for me, freelance writers don't have to put up with the Lordly Ones on a daily basis, but we do have to become fluent in the lingo of the writing and publishing world. Terms like "SASE" (with which I was well acquainted from years of watching the kids' TV show "Zoom")and "slush pile" are learned easily enough, but it's the nuances that fly right over the head of a naive writer like me who is foolish enough to take industry comments at face value. For the sake of those poor newbies out there with insufficient time logged in the industry to become fluent by total immersion, I'd like to share a helpful glossary of all-important terms kindly provided by the owner of Constellation Books of Baltimore, Maryland. Enjoy!


1 comment:

One Man and his Dogs said...

Wonderful glossary. I'd send the link to my Commissioning Editor, save for the fact that he has zero sense of humour :-(


Annapolis, MD

Sturbridge, MA

Annapolis, MD
Submit a jpeg of your local oddball street name -- if it's posted, you'll win a prize!