Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Who uses it: Printers
What it means: A printer's mock-up of pages ready for printing, made from film on photo-sensitive paper; the last stage at which an editor can make changes before printing.
How you can use it: When you're looking at a final draft.

Digital printing has made bluelines nearly obsolete, for most printing jobs, and that's a mixed blessing. Our digital world has made proofreaders sloppy; I just finished reading another book that was full of misspellings and typographical errors.

On the other hand, technological improvements have ended printers' long tyranny. When I first started writing a weekly newsletter, in the early 1990s, I lived in terror of making changes at the blueline stage -- not only because it was expensive, but also because it annoyed my printer so much. But I know I was much more careful back then.

We're living in a virtual world. I went to a concert last night with my friend Matt, although he lives in New York, I live in Maine, and the concert was in Washington, D.C. Belle and Sebastian were playing at the 9:30 Club, streaming audio on National Public Radio; Matt and I were listening and chatting via Instant Message. Instead of standing in a smoky club with a plastic cup of wine in my hand, I was sitting on my living room sofa, sipping a mug of Theraflu (yes, I'm catching another cold). I am a complete geezer. Also, I need some real speakers for my laptop.

The crack about geezer-dom is a little too close to home this morning, after news of two deaths -- from natural causes -- of people who were roughly my contemporaries. Kirby Puckett is dead at 45, from a stroke, and Dana Reeve is gone at 44, from lung cancer. How does that happen? Terribly unfair, and sad beyond words.


Running from my House said...

do you read dooce? www.dooce.com she talks about belle and sebastion today.

It is one of the funniest blogs out there.

AnswerGirl said...

"Twee"! She endorses a website that calls Belle and Sebastian "twee"!

Well, okay. They're a little twee. But their new album, THE LIFE PURSUIT, is terrific, and I do not use a Mac, type in all lowercase letters, or wear scarves indoors. Anymore.

ercwttmn said...

if you like belle and sebastian, i recomend "the decemberists".

Anonymous said...

On my first real job I had to proofread the program for Arena Stage and it was then that I finally learned to spell. Being terrified of making changes at blueline will do that to you. I also learned a very important lesson: DON'T TAKE THE BLUELINE TO THE BEACH! I only did it once!