This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Nuts and Bolts: outro.

free public domain image farewell have a nice trip woman waving handkerchief goodbye dont forget to write pen ink drawing
image from

You know what an intro is, don't you.

Yes, intro is short for introduction, something that prepares the reader or watcher or listener for what is to come. It might encourage the excited summoning up of mental alertness, the resigned settling down in the chair, the embarrassing but inevitable closing of the eyelids, or the weary reaching for the remote control.

But although I was familiar with intros I hadn't heard the word outro until recently, when it was sprung on me by an editor who shall remain nameless because I'm hoping to work with her again.

(NB: names are nearly always omitted to protect the guilty, not the innocent.)

So what is an outro? It's the opposite of an intro, of course.

It can be the closing credits of a film or video game; an epilogue to a piece of writing; a (usually instrumental) ending to a song; or a snazzy bit of a video game that rewards a successful piece of play.

What's wrong with outro? Nothing at all. The fact that it makes me shudder like a duchess given a cucumber sandwich with the crusts left on is entirely my problem and I'm going to have to get over it.

But still, I can't help but hanker after afterwords and end notes and epilogues and valedictory addresses.

But never fear: I promise that all the hankering will in future be done privately, and that on this subject these are my final words.

Word To Use Today If You Want To Be Trendy: outro. This word was coined in the 1970s as an opposite of intro. It's quite a useful word, really, if you're not fussy.

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