Open Source Publishing – Graphic Design Caravan

We could save the term by using it

Tools · May 14th, 2008 ·

A lively discussion about the terminology used in Scribus:

All started with this post from Hans-Josef Heck, linking the language of digital lay-out to that of historical printing techniques:

“Master” is the perfect English term. The master masters a page, a paragraph, etc.

The Webster (edition 1994) says:
3: controlling the operation of other mechanism (e.g. master cylinder)
4: establishing a standard for reference (e.g. master gauge).

To use “page master” instead of “master page” stresses, what the function
is, namely “mastering”.

“master” means “ruling”. There is no equivalent in German, I think, which could we used here. In German “Mutter” (mother) is a possible solution, which means “stems from” (e.g. Mutterbaum, Mutterpflanze). In the printing trade there are in the German nomenclature two terms, that stem from Latin “mater”, (Mutter, mother):

1. Mater = a mould for a founding patterns for printing. It was positive, as the printing block had to be negative.
2. Matrize = a stencil, positive, the ink was pressed through or those, where the printing colour was imposed on the back and then used with a kind of alcohol for copying.

These techniques are gone. Laser copies or digital (offset) printing we use instead. But we could save the term by using it.

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