But do you know how they came about? 

With any job, there is a jargon that goes along.  Whether it's medicine, cyberspace, or duck hunting, knowing the terminology is important.  


Printed journalism has it's own set of specific labels, some used more often than others.  But do you know HOW those terms came about or WHY?

This month we present you with  a few interesting terminology tidbits: 



The term broadsheet derives from single sheets of political satire and ballads sold on the streets, which became popular after the British placed a tax on newspapers by the number of pages in 1712.


The berliner format (also known as Midi) is commonly used by newspapers across Europe. The name does refer to the city of Berlin, and was originally contrasted with "North German" and "French" sizes in the early 20th century. Ironically, the publication titled 'Berliner Zeitung', often referred to as just 'Berliner' is not printed in berliner size.


The size referred to as "tabloid" comes from the style of journalism known as 'tabloid journalism' that compacted stories into short, easy to read and often exaggerated forms. (Raise your hand if you thought it was the other way around...) Tabloid journalism itself got its name from the 'tabloid pills' marketed in the 1880's, that were the first highly compacted and easy to swallow pills commonly available. 


This size is the same as tabloid. The term "Compact" was coined when the 'quality' or 'high brow' press titles moved from the traditional broadsheet size to the smaller tabloid size, as they didn't want to be associated with the sensationalism of tabloid journalism.

To learn more about all kinds of terminology relating to the paper industry,  click HERE.


Other Terminology Origins:


A forerunner of modern newspapers was the Notizie scritte (written notices) published monthly in Venice from 1556. The price of Notizie scritte was one Venetian coin called a gazetta, which is why the word 'gazette' later came to mean a newspaper.


The first reference to "News Papers" in English was in 1667, and the earliest citation in the Oxford English Dictionary of it spelled as Newspaper (one word) is from 1688.


The Associated Press was started in 1848. The six New York papers that founded the innovative wire service company later began sending stories to papers in Washington D.C., not just papers in New York. The name "wire service" originated from using telegraph lines to send stories. 


Does your newspaper have ears, hammerheads, and sky boxes as part of its furniture?


Click HERE for an interesting, illustrated education on newspaper pre-press and pressroom terminology often used in North America.

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Blame the computer...


In Europe and most areas of the world outside North America, the weight of paper is described as grammes per square metre, mathematically shown as (g/m2). 

However,"gsm" is more commonly used.


Believe it or not, it was because of the inability of early computer screens to display superscripted characters - especially stock control, accounting and invoicing systems.


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