[Ads-l] TK

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 9 14:00:32 EST 2017

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

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


[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]

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.

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


[Begin extracted text]
H.T.C., H.T.K. — Head to come,
or "hed to kum," indorsed on copy
to indicate story is running and
[End extracted text]

Below is a match in 1946 for "HTK" and "Head to Kum" that is fully
visible in HathiTrust.

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


[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]


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".
> Date: November 22, 1958
> Newspaper: Daily Independent Journal
> Newspaper Location: San Rafael, California
> Quote Page M6
> https://www.newspapers.com/clip/14993436/1958_example_of_printer_slang_htk_hed/
> [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
> https://books.google.com/books?id=y1RJAQAAMAAJ&q=%22to+kum%22#v=snippet&
> [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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