[Ads-l] TK

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Nov 9 15:03:32 EST 2017


> On Nov 9, 2017, at 2:38 PM, Charles C Doyle <cdoyle at UGA.EDU> wrote:
> 
> Some years ago we discussed the process by which "come" in the sense of '(sexually) ejaculate' evolved into "kum" as a noun.
> 
> 
> —Charlie
> 
Did we?  I recall “cum” but not “kum”.  I’ve previously encountered the latter not as a term of art in umliterature but as the first syllable of kumquat.

LH
 
> ________________________________
> 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
> 
> Seems like the grand tradition that gave us “O.K.” (< “oll korrect”) is alive and well, or was in the 20th century, anyway...
> 
> 
>> On Nov 9, 2017, at 2:00 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>> 
>> 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.
>> 
>> 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
>> 
>> https://books.google.com/books?id=uus9AQAAMAAJ&q=%22hed+to%22#v=snippet&
>> 
>> [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
>> 
>> https://books.google.com/books?id=BgHba-Ic3akC&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=%22hed+to%22
>> 
>> [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
>> 
>> https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015030920808
>> https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015030920808?urlappend=%3Bseq=263
>> 
>> [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]
>> 
>> Garson
>> 
>> 
>> 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
>>>> 
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>>>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>> 
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>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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