Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Toni Anderson’s blog about language differences between the English and Americans not only made me laugh, her blog made me think about how words have different meanings depending on your profession.
Break a Leg: Means good luck. If someone wishes a performer Good Luck—that performer is in trouble.
Standby: The performer who gets his or her big chance when the star is out sick. Often mutters Good Luck.
Apron: Not something you wear to keep spills off your clothes when cooking but the section of the stage floor that projects into the audience.
Motivation: For actors—many directors say, “It’s your paycheck, honey.” For writers—the goal that enables the character to overcome conflicts and drives the character through the story.
Straight Play: A drama without music—has nothing to do with sex.
And whatever you do * Do not mention the name of Shakespeare’s Scottish play to an actor or actress.
Subject matter jurisdiction: Is not a disagreement between a writer and her editor.
Slander: A rotten review. Well…maybe.
Simple assault: In my view--cutting a writer’s favorite line.
Pleadings: Between the writer and God after she mails her manuscript.
Toxic Tort: Another rotten review? No—personal injury or property damage due to a toxic substance. Hmmm.
False Labor: An article that’s rejected more than once? No false labor is a false pregnancy.
Normal Body Temperature: Of great use to Paranormal romance Writers or 98.6?
Hook - Not Captain Hook of Peter Pan, not the hook that drags mediocre performers off-stage. Hook is the paragraph that captures the reader’s attention.
Tight - We aren’t drunk, squiffy, high, inebriated or intoxicated--our writing just needs to be concise and accurate.
I know many of you have worked or are working in other professions in additional to writing. Let us know about the words you used that others would use in a different fashion.