When you enter journalism, you enter a world with its own language.
Granted, the old hot metal favourites of flongs, galleys and fudge no longer ring out in newsrooms – although spike still has a place.
But nibs, splash, and two-deck will mean nothing to most ‘civvies’.
It doesn’t help that different newsrooms use different words: is it puff or boost, fill or wrap, shapes or boxes?
I remember having to swiftly change my terminology when about to tell a very small work experience student that we needed her to write some shorts.
And pictures have a whole lexicon of their own.
I was once asked what shape a picture was just minutes after the job had fallen through.
“Pear,” was my reply.
But in one newsroom which I visit regularly, there is a sliding scale for picture jobs which is used to brief photographers.
It starts with one-pic for simple events, then moves through two-pic to my all-time favourite term of do-up: a page of photos.
Bigger jobs get the status of spreads, while the ultimate request is for a gallery.
This digital term approximates to around 50 pictures.
I asked the picture editor whether a gallery was now becoming an official quantity, like the traditional ale measure of a firkin.
I was told there’s a word that sounds a lot like firkin that is sometimes used when a gallery is requested.
My aim now is to get him to do a page of pictures about the band Showaddywaddy.
Go on, work it out.