Z is for Z

the back end of an overused listicle format, as in ‘Journo-thaurus A-Z’.

X is for exes

aka expense claims, widely credited as being the greatest-ever works of fiction.

W is for WOB

short for white-on-black. A trick of the design trade where the normal white-on-black style is reversed. Can be used with colours.

U is for unemployment

the more accurate description for ‘freelancing’ or ‘working from home.’

T is for tweak

a top-to-bottom re-write of incompetently prepared copy.

S is for spike

a shame-laden repository for unsuccessful pieces of writing.

R is for reverse ferret

journo-euphemism for a 180-degree change of direct. Often hides realisation of calamitous misjudgement. Also redundo, payments made to journalists who invariably “couldn’t be happier” and were “just about to leave anyway”. Also readers, aka nuisances – especially when they try to contact you.

Q is for query

polite term used by editors meaning ‘Oi, writer, I have no idea what you are driffling on about.’