Cover Photo: This image includes a blue background with a drawing of a stack of papers. On the top piece of paper are scribbles that look like writing being edited with a red pen.
Graphic by Eliza Harris for Catapult

Editing and Publishing Lingo You Should Know

If it’s your first time taking a workshop or working with an editor, here are some terms you might come across.

It can feel frustrating that editors use esoteric symbols and misspelled words rather than simply writing out what they want to say. However, having a common and abbreviated terminology keeps editors’ annotations from being confused with the text under review. Once you know this shared shorthand, it means less possibility for confusion and, of course, saves both editors and writers a lot of time.


Editorial memo: to your MS from an editor




’s plot should also provide an emotional hook to interest the audience. Also written “log line.



Nut graf


Galley proof



Dele comes from the Latin word “delere.


Stet: An editor’s previous marks should be ignored, and the text should be restored to its original form

It is usually used to indicate that a part of the text an editor previously deleted should be brought back.


“TK” also stands out visually, which assisted writers and journalists while drafting before find and search existed.

On spec


The Chicago Manual of Style  (The Associated Press Stylebook The Elements of Style