[Ads-l] TK

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 9 12:20:28 EST 2017

Here is a link to a 1958 newspaper story that explains the related
abbreviation HTK which means "head to kum" or "hed to kum".

Date: November 22, 1958
Newspaper: Daily Independent Journal
Newspaper Location: San Rafael, California
Quote Page M6


[Begin excerpt from photo caption]
LINOTYPE BANK — 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]

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.

Date: July 1922
Volume 23, Number 7
Periodical: Correct English: How to Use It
Article: A Study in Expressive Word Combinations
Subtitle: From 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


[Begin excerpt]
—The Queries and Answers omitted in this number, will be resumed in
the August number
—Hed to Kum—How goes?
[End excerpt]

Garson O'Toole

On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 10:54 AM, Theresa Fisher
<fisher.theresa at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> 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.
> 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."
> 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.
> Thanks,
> Theresa
> --
> Theresa Fisher
> fisher.theresa at gmail.com
> 914 500 3434
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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