Say What? Language Lessons…

Meda White
I have no idea what you are talking about. That is hard for me to admit. Is it for anyone else?

Although I’ve been writing for fun most of my life, I’m new to the writing industry. I never expected writing as a career to be easy but I also didn’t expect to be learning a new “language.” It just so happens that I love learning new things so this has been an exciting adventure, even though I still have a lot to learn.

Disciplinary language is terminology that is commonly used in certain fields or careers. Many disciplines use terms, initials, and acronyms.

In my former field of dentistry, the letters PRO were an abbreviation for prophylaxis- dental cleaning. The same letters in the writer’s world, PRO, are short for professional- an author who has submitted a work but may not yet be published.

At my first Southern Magic meeting, I was introduced to new terminology related to my new craft by way of immersion.

Plans were being made for the Romance Readers Luncheon. Someone said “swag” and I immediately thought of JAG (a military term for Judge Advocate General). Later, I learned that SWAG is Stuff Writers Always Give away. (It actually stands for Stuff We All Get but I like to make up my own.)

I was reading an RWA (Romance Writers of America) article and came across the letters WIP. I quickly made it up- Writer Invariably Procrastinating. I learned that it really stands for Work In Progress.

I read several books and articles about editing and submitting and kept seeing the same advice repeated again and again: Know your craft. Is there a glossary somewhere than I can get my hands on?

I was reminded of this again last week when a writer asked about RT on one of my groups. I was like huh? Really Tough to learn a new language. When I Googled it, I got a Russian Television website but awesome writer and leader, Carla Swafford, educated me about Romantic Times.

So if we ever meet one day and you are talking to me in “author’s speak” and my eyes cross, it’s probably because I don’t yet understand. Be patient with me, I’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile, TCOY and I’ll CYA later.


Please leave a comment to let me know some of the disciplinary language you’ve learned over the years. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about writing. You can even make it up, Lord knows I do.

Meda White ; Follow Me

One Comment

  1. ROFLOL! Loved the post because it’s soooo true! I remember a Candace Haven session where she thought GMC (goal, motivation, conflict) was the car company & wondered what that had to go with her story….*grin*

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