Thursday, December 4, 2014

Rubric - words in RED

If I had a tail, I would wag it right now.

I was writing a technical response to an official request for information, looking for just the right word, and thought 'rubric' might work.  It would never make the final editorial cut - this is, after all, a burrocracy in which I work.  But it felt close, and so I started looking for similar words, and in the process, looked up the word "rubric".

Huh.  Rubric refers to the words printed in red to distinguish them from the remainder of the text.

Rubric: noun
1.  a title, heading, direction, or the like, in a manuscript, book, statute, etc., written or printed in red or otherwise distinguished from the rest of the text.
2.  a direction for the conduct of divine service or the administration of the sacraments, inserted in liturgical books.  
Image stolen without permission from http://net.lib.byu.edu/scm/medieval/liturgical.html
 
The third definition was what I was looking for: any established mode of conduct or procedure; protocol.
 
But I loved the first two definitions, and had no idea! 
 
I have written before about a Red Letter Day and how in Korea, signing a name in red is something that is done to honor the dead.  But this one just made my inner lexophile do a dance. I'm going to go find Rufus and redline his document.
 
 

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