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In charge of a workplace newsletter, I constantly receive E-mails with requests that I include notices in the next issue, but they will read like this:

"Please post an announcement for Bob's birthday party, on Tuesday. Tell people to bring one dish, it will be a potluck."

I want to encourage people to actually send us the text that they actually want to appear in the newsletter. I end up having to rewrite their message, which can introduce errors, which they will blame on me; and often the actual message isn't any longer than what they send me, so no extra work for them.

Is there a genuine term, probably a noun, in Journalism used to describe such "words, exactly as they will appear when in print"?

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  • 4
    "Please email me your text word-for-word." Jun 3, 2021 at 12:39
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    You might be looking for the word verbatim; usually, the publication states that announcement will appear verbatim in the issue of the indicated date. Jun 3, 2021 at 12:40
  • I understand its simple to communicate this, but wondering if there is a special term for this, after all, we will also have students help, so its useful they learn that.
    – Village
    Jun 3, 2021 at 12:41
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    The two options that have been supplied are the 'special terms' - I don't know of any other. Jun 3, 2021 at 13:36
  • @Village, students help what?
    – cruthers
    Jun 3, 2021 at 16:21

2 Answers 2

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The term is copy.

copy noun 3 mass noun Matter to be printed. ‘copy for the next issue must be submitted by the beginning of the month’ -Lexico

However, if the others are not familiar with this usage, you might be better off asking for the text that they want printed. The following example comes from cakemessage.com, a custom cake message maker:

Enter cake text below

YOUR TEXT APPEARS ON THE CAKE

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  • I don't think "copy" is quite right, because one would expect the "copy for the next issue" to be modified by the editor prior to printing - it gets across the idea of "raw text intended to be published", but not of "we will print exactly the words that you specify".
    – psmears
    Jun 3, 2021 at 15:10
  • @psmears That sounds like a draft or a proof.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 3, 2021 at 16:39
  • A journalist might submit a draft of an article, and that would be copy, but a proof is different. And it doesn't take away from the fact that copy doesn't mean will be printed word for word.
    – psmears
    Jun 3, 2021 at 21:03
  • @psmears Yes, proof goes the other way, back to the author. However, copy doesn’t intrinsically carry the notion of something submitted for editing. The dictionary entry supports this. It may well be edited, but the intent of copy is that it is the text to be printed, not a description of text to be printed. If you disagree, please provide evidence of your view.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 4, 2021 at 0:05
  • "Copy" just means "text" in journalistic jargon; you're right it won't necessarily get edited, but the usual situation is that submitted copy will be edited. The question asked for something to express "words, exactly as they will appear when in print" (emphasis mine); the word "copy" (on its own) doesn't capture the "exactly".
    – psmears
    Jun 4, 2021 at 10:24
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From comments:

  • "Please email me your text word-for-word." — Kate Bunting

Word for word means ‘In exactly the same or, when translated, exactly equivalent words.’ [Lexico]


  • You might be looking for the word verbatim; usually, the publication states that announcement will appear verbatim in the issue of the indicated date. — Jeff Zeitlin

Verbatim means ‘In exactly the same words as were used originally.’ [Lexico]

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