[Ads-l] TK

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Nov 9 20:22:38 EST 2017


> On Nov 9, 2017, at 6:47 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> The "kum" in "to kum" was originally sexual?
> 
> Give me a break!

Well, leaving aside the urbandictionary entry for _kum_ (which may well enshrine a misspelling/typo), there is an entry for _kumquat_ in the handy-dandy HDAS, with the gloss ‘a young woman’:

1984 N. Bell _Raw Youth_ 24: Like a kumquat of schoolgirl age.
1988 Cherbak _Broken Angel (film)_ The jerk left me for this twenty-year-old kumquat.

Not quite graphic enough for current purposes, though…

LH 
> 
> The "cum" spelling only appeared in the '80s or so, and the spelling with
> "k" is, even in 2017, brand-new to me.
> 
> Not to mention that if there was even a hint - a hint! - of graphic
> sexuality in the proofreader's "kum," the spelling would never have
> appeared casually in print before the late 20th century - and then only in
> limited places.
> 
> JL
> 
> 
> 
> On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 3:55 PM, Theresa Fisher <fisher.theresa at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> Thank you for this great info!
>> 
>> On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 3:03 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
>> wrote:
>> 
>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>> -----------------------
>>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>> Subject:      Re: TK
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> -------------------
>>> 
>>>> On Nov 9, 2017, at 2:38 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
>>>> =20
>>>> Some years ago we discussed the process by which "come" in the sense =
>>> of '(sexually) ejaculate' evolved into "kum" as a noun.
>>>> =20
>>>> =20
>>>> =E2=80=94Charlie
>>>> =20
>>> Did we?  I recall =E2=80=9Ccum=E2=80=9D but not =E2=80=9Ckum=E2=80=9D.  =
>>> I=E2=80=99ve previously encountered the latter not as a term of art in =
>>> umliterature but as the first syllable of kumquat.
>>> 
>>> LH
>>> =20
>>>> ________________________________
>>>> From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of =
>>> Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>>>> Sent: Thursday, November 9, 2017 2:35:45 PM
>>>> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
>>>> Subject: Re: TK
>>>> =20
>>>> Seems like the grand tradition that gave us =E2=80=9CO.K.=E2=80=9D (< =
>>> =E2=80=9Coll korrect=E2=80=9D) is alive and well, or was in the 20th =
>>> century, anyway...
>>>> =20
>>>> =20
>>>>> On Nov 9, 2017, at 2:00 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole =
>>> <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>>>>> =20
>>>>> Here is an example in 1921 where it seems that "Hed to Kum" was
>>>>> inserted by an editor and it accidentally appeared in the final
>>>>> publication.
>>>>> =20
>>>>> Date: April 1921
>>>>> Periodical: Feedingstuffs
>>>>> Article: The Stockman Is Coming Back
>>>>> AUTHOR: F.C. Minkler (American Feed Manufacturers Assn)
>>>>> Quote Page 54
>>>>> Database: Google Books
>>>>> =20
>>>>> =
>>> https://books.google.com/books?id=3Duus9AQAAMAAJ&q=3D%
>>> 22hed+to%22#v=3Dsnip=
>>> pet&
>>>>> =20
>>>>> [Begin excerpt]
>>>>> If it pays to feed 50 cent corn to $10.00 hogs or $10.00 cattle, it
>>>>> will pay to tuck the same feed under the more pliable skins of the
>>>>> pure bred animal, although the grade feeder is apt to come to life
>>>>> sooner than the pure bred, simply because the turn over will take
>>>>> place with a smaller initial investment and
>>>>> Hed to Kum
>>>>> [End excerpt]
>>>>> =20
>>>>> Google Books shows a snippet match circa 1923. The data shown in
>>>>> snippet matches is sometimes inaccurate. Searching for "1923" within
>>>>> the book reveals a snippet with the name of the author "George C.
>>>>> Bastian" and "Chicago, October, 1923." This snippet probably appears
>>>>> at the end of the preface. So the date is probably ok. But the
>>>>> information should be verified with hardcopy.
>>>>> =20
>>>>> Year: 1923
>>>>> Title: Editing the Day's News: An Introduction to Newspaper
>>>>> Copyreading, Headline Writing, Illustration, Makeup, and General
>>>>> Newspaper Methods
>>>>> Author: George C. Bastian
>>>>> Quote Page 228
>>>>> Database: Google Books Snippet; this data may be inaccurate and =
>>> should
>>>>> be verified with hardcopy
>>>>> =20
>>>>> =
>>> https://books.google.com/books?id=3DBgHba-Ic3akC&focus=
>>> 3Dsearchwithinvolum=
>>> e&q=3D%22hed+to%22
>>>>> =20
>>>>> [Begin extracted text]
>>>>> H.T.C., H.T.K. =E2=80=94 Head to come,
>>>>> or "hed to kum," indorsed on copy
>>>>> to indicate story is running and
>>>>> [End extracted text]
>>>>> =20
>>>>> Below is a match in 1946 for "HTK" and "Head to Kum" that is fully
>>>>> visible in HathiTrust.
>>>>> =20
>>>>> Year: 1946
>>>>> Title: Editing the Small City Daily
>>>>> Author: Robert M. Neal with commentaries by Professor Eugen W. Sharp
>>>>> and the late John M. Imrie.
>>>>> Publisher: Prentice-Hall, New York
>>>>> Edition: Revised
>>>>> Database: HathiTrust
>>>>> Quote Page 245
>>>>> =20
>>>>> https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015030920808
>>>>> https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015030920808?urlappend=
>>> 3D%3Bseq=3D263=
>>> 
>>>>> =20
>>>>> [Begin excerpt]
>>>>> To save time, he sends along the lead before he writes the headline.
>>>>> The lead carries a notation to assure the copy cutter that the
>>>>> headline will be coming and that it hasn't been lost in the journey
>>>>> from desk to composing room. This warning generally is the statement,
>>>>> at the top of the lead, "Head to Come," often shortened to "H. to C."
>>>>> or to "HTK" (Head to Kum).
>>>>> [End excerpt]
>>>>> =20
>>>>> Garson
>>>>> =20
>>>>> =20
>>>>> On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 12:20 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
>>>>> <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> Here is a link to a 1958 newspaper story that explains the related
>>>>>> abbreviation HTK which means "head to kum" or "hed to kum".
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> Date: November 22, 1958
>>>>>> Newspaper: Daily Independent Journal
>>>>>> Newspaper Location: San Rafael, California
>>>>>> Quote Page M6
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> =
>>> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/14993436/1958_example_of_
>>> printer_slang_htk=
>>> _hed/
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> [Begin excerpt from photo caption]
>>>>>> LINOTYPE BANK =E2=80=94 Here, words are turned into metal, not only =
>>> for news
>>>>>> stories but for advertisements. Each story bears an identifying =
>>> "slug"
>>>>>> referring to its heading or "HTK," meaning "hed to kum." As type is
>>>>>> set, it is transferred to "galleys" or trays on "bank" at right. =
>>> Slugs
>>>>>> guide "floor men" in shunting type to proper department.
>>>>>> [End excerpt]
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> Below is a citation from 1922 containing the phrase "Hed to Kum". =
>>> This
>>>>>> phrase seems to be a message to the printer, but it appeared in the
>>>>>> final copy. This was due to an error by the printer. Alternatively, =
>>> it
>>>>>> was an obscure joke.
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> Date: July 1922
>>>>>> Volume 23, Number 7
>>>>>> Periodical: Correct English: How to Use It
>>>>>> Article: A Study in Expressive Word Combinations
>>>>>> Subtitle: =46rom The Secret Places of the Heart
>>>>>> Article Author: H.G. Wells
>>>>>> Note: Excerpt appears at the end of the article
>>>>>> Start Page 182, Quote Page 183
>>>>>> Publisher: Correct English Publishing Co., Evanston, Illinois
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> =
>>> https://books.google.com/books?id=3Dy1RJAQAAMAAJ&q=3D%
>>> 22to+kum%22#v=3Dsnip=
>>> pet&
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> [Begin excerpt]
>>>>>> =E2=80=94The Queries and Answers omitted in this number, will be =
>>> resumed in
>>>>>> the August number
>>>>>> =E2=80=94Hed to Kum=E2=80=94How goes?
>>>>>> [End excerpt]
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> Garson O'Toole
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> =20
>>>>>> On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 10:54 AM, Theresa Fisher
>>>>>> <fisher.theresa at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>>> =20
>>>>>>> I'm writing a short article in which I discuss the abbreviation TK =
>>> (meaning
>>>>>>> "to come" in journalism and publishing). I know the basic origin =
>>> story of
>>>>>>> TK: Back in the days of print journalism, TK (as well as lede, hed =
>>> and dek)
>>>>>>> were used as purposely misspelled shorthand that proofreaders and =
>>> copy
>>>>>>> editors wouldn't mistake for actual copy or typos.
>>>>>>> =20
>>>>>>> I've read that "K" was chosen both because TK is an unusual letter
>>>>>>> combination and because it's an abbreviation of the slang "to kum."
>>>>>>> =20
>>>>>>> But I was hoping to find some more detailed information about TK =
>>> and was
>>>>>>> wondering if anyone had more insight on its history or usage.
>>>>>>> =20
>>>>>>> Thanks,
>>>>>>> =20
>>>>>>> Theresa
>>>>>>> =20
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>> =20
>>>>>>> Theresa Fisher
>>>>>>> fisher.theresa at gmail.com
>>>>>>> 914 500 3434
>>>>>>> =20
>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>>> =20
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>> =20
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>>> =20
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> 
>> Theresa Fisher
>> fisher.theresa at gmail.com
>> 914 500 3434
>> 
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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