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In (usually US) English there is a printing term slug and its subsequent newspaper use:

  • A slug is a single line of type from the days of hot metal typesetting. Prior to this a "slug" was a spacing line of metal; also has a more general meaning of "lump", usually of metal.
  • In the Linotype era, the practice in newspapers was to put an identifying line of type, a slug, at the top of galley with a working title or code name, so they could easily identify each story (or separately typeset piece of the story). Older reference works also use the term "catch line" as well as "slug" (Newspaper Editing, Grant Milnor Hyde, 1931, p89)
  • Hence it came to be used as the working title or code name for a newspaper story. The OED gives "an identifying title, usually occupying one slug [line of type], accompanying a news story in draft and galleys."
  • The slug is never intended to be in print, it is just for the editors and compositors during the process of production, functioning a little like a filename in digital production.

A typical sentence would be Reporter: "What slug should I use for this murder story?" Editor: "Use 'MOB KILLING'". It's usually a noun but sometimes used as a verb: "Slug it 'MOB KILLING'"

Surely Spanish typesetters called the line of type something, and surely they had a similar practice of labelling galley.

What should we use in Spanish for the printing and journalism term? Did Spanish printers use the English word "slug" for a line of type? Or perhaps lingote, as used in Spanish Wikipedia under Linotipia Did news editors use titulo, clave or something along those lines for the working title of a news story?

Background

Here's an article about how they use "working title" slugs at the New York Times, with illustration of a "typesetting" slug.

enter image description here
New York Times "What's in a slug?".

Here's a few "working title" slugs at the top of book galley:

enter image description here


My dictionaries only give the "bullet" meaning of slug: bala, posta and counter/token/coin meaning (ficha), none of which seem appropriate. I see bala de entintar for inking ball, so seems it's not used in printing for the slug.

French Wikipedia uses the English word slug for the "working title" link and ligne-bloc link for "line of type". As noted above, lingote, is used in Spanish Wikipedia under Linotipia for "cast line of type", but perhaps that is just explanation for how it's made. (We certainly wouldn't use English ingot for this.)

2 Answers 2

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Part 1: "Working title" is sometimes slug

At least at the New York Times, as confirmed by one of its Spanish edition editors by email. But at a number of English newspapers such as the Yorkshire Evening Post, they didn't label their stories this way, and so didn't use anything for "working title", even though they used "slug" in "line-of-type" sense. (According to a retired YEP typesetter.)

(I will update if I find other words used in other countries.)

Part 2: "Solid Line of Type" is línea

An old Spanish Linotype operator, Sandalio Martínez of Zaragoza, uses the word línea throughout his video for "line of type". THE LINOTIPIA of the 19th century at YouTube enter image description here

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Slug

Aclaración y Confusión del término Slug

En español entendemos el término "Slug" como aquel que se utiliza para identificar un texto que todavía está en producción editorial.

En este sentido en español no tenemos un término tan específico como en inglés, "slug", que identifique o se refiera a un articulo en la fase de edición y producción editorial.

En estos casos, normalmente se habla de "Título Provisional", "Borrador" (que engloba todo el contexto del artículo) o "Anotación" (Anotación Previa).

En editoriales más especializadas se puede escuchar en aproximación al término "Slug", la voz "Glosario" o "Glosa" en recuerdo a las antiguas notas escritas, situadas en los márgenes o entre las líneas de un libro, en la cual se explicaba el significado de un texto de manera resumida.

Por último en otros lugares utilizan la palabra "Suelto" o "El Suelto" como variante breve de la "Glosa", aunque algunos puedan confundir, en este sentido, tanto "La Glosa" como "El Suelto" con el estilo literario breve.

En este sentido descrito, la palabra "Slug" se conoce, pero no se suele utilizar como tal, ya que se suele hablar en términos comunes para estos casos de "Título Previo, Provisional o Temporal" para este o aquel artículo.


Sin embargo en la galería de ejemplos propuestos como "Slug", el término "Slug" cobra nuevo sentido.

enter image description here

En estos casos lo que aparece subrayado con rotulador fluorescente como identificador o "Slug", nosotros lo denominamos "Antetítulo" o "Epígrafe". Un texto o sentencia breve que entrega o suele ponerse como antecedente importante para entender el titular y la noticia. Para entenderse mejor, según acostumbre la publicación a la hora de preguntar, se puede utilizar uno o ambos términos en la frase.

Una frase típica sería;

  • Reportero: "¿Qué Epígrafe pongo como Antetítulo para esta historia de asesinato?"

  • Editor: Usa "Asesinato de la Mafia".

P.D. Quizás el problema de tanta confusión haya sido el malentendido del concepto y lo difícil de aclararlo sino se ilustra con una imagen.

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  • Muchos gracias para tu repuesto. Pero creo que "epígrafe" y "antetítulo" son incorrectos porque estos han intendido para los lectores. El "slug" no es imprimido en el diario o revista final, es solo por los editores durante el proceso del produccíon.
    – jonathanjo
    Commented Apr 11, 2023 at 11:58
  • slug en el trabajo editorial o de redacción es un título provisional.
    – Lambie
    Commented Apr 15, 2023 at 17:48

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