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Terms Of Endurement. Humor is cheaper than therapy.



Broadcast Radio

Advance tone: An inaudible tone of a specified frequency which triggers another piece of equipment to malfunction.

Air time: Fifteen minutes before whatever needs to be on the air is finished.

Alignment: A common problem with the front wheels of rapidly aging and abused station vans.

Analog: Descriptive of a system which uses electrical voltages to generate and store unwanted noise.

Audio feed: Important audio transmitted when the receiving equipment is not working properly.

Band: A group of untalented musicians with marketing support.

Bidirectional mic: A microphone which picks up unwanted sounds in two directions at once.

Board: An electronic device which routes and combines separate channels of unwanted noise.

Board fade: Decreasing mental capability brought on by too much time spent in front of a board.

Broadcasting: Attempting to pick up a female by sending one's business card and a drink to her table.

Bulk eraser: A powerful, hand-held electromagnetic device used to obliterate audio from tapes which are not to be erased.

Card: A modular assembly of integrated circuits which fails soon after being installed in a unaccessible location.

Cardoid mic: A directional mic which picks up unwanted sounds within a heart-shaped pattern.

Carrier: Radio frequency signal upon which unwanted noise is transmitted.

Cart: An abbreviation of "tape cartridge" - a plastic shell, containing a length of endless tape, which is immune to failure unless used.

Cart machine: An electromechanical device which jams carts.

CD: A good way to ensure future financial stabilitywhile employed in the volatile business of broadcasting.

Channel: A circuit through which erroneous information or unwanted noise flows.

Combo: Small band in which a broadcasting employee might play to supplement his or her income.

Compact disc: A flat, round digital storage medium which is virtually indestructible until removed from its container.

Condenser mic: A type of microphone which picks up unwanted sounds by means of one or two vibrating plates.

Console: (1) A mixer through which different channels of unwanted noise are routed to recording equipment, other consoles, or the transmission chain. (2) A natural habitat in which "Post It Notes" thrive and reproduce. (3) A natural collecting area for cigarette ashes and spilled coffee. (4) To attempt to lessen the grief of one who's on the receiving end of a lousy book.

Crosstalk: A style of interpersonal communication often used by management when addressing employees.

Cue tone: An inaudible tone of a specified frequency used to trigger an outside event, such as a cart machine jamming a cart.

Current: A measurement of the electricity flowing through one's body by mistake.

Cutoff frequency: The number of times in a given period during which a fatigued engineer accidentally removes flesh with a pair of wire strippers.

Decode: To transform from code into another form or language i.e., "Would you decode what the Chief Engineer just said?"

Directional mic: A microphone which picks up unwanted sounds mainly from one direction.

Disc: An integral element of the spine which, when forced out of alignment from continuous grovelling to management, causes intense lower back pain.

Distortion: The difference between that which is sent and that which is received i.e., the difference between what you meant as a professional suggestion that management consider upgrading the station's aging equipment and what management perceived as a sarcastic inference that your children's toys contain superior electronics.

Drop out: The educational status of many announcers.

Dry: The state of one's mouth following a budget review.

Dub: The blank tape that is supposed to have a copy of the master tape on it.

Dynamic mic: A type of mic which picks up unwanted sounds by means of a vibrating coil of wire.

Fade: To gradually become unconscious because of constant pressure and insufficient sleep.

Fader: A broadcasting employee who has run out of coffee.

Feedback: An unpleasant, high-pitched squealing sound made by management during a budget review.

Final mix: The final product of a production session which does not meet the requirements of a client.

Flat: The state of carbonation in a soft drink purchased from a break room's vending machine.

Food groups: There are only three food groups which broadcasting employees consume on a regular basis: carbohydrates (sugar), alkaloids (caffeine), and sludge (partially hydrogenated tropical oils found in non-dairy creamers and junk food).

Frequency: The number of times during the week one should be having sex with one's spouse, but can't due to excess consumption of caffeine or worry about job security, equipment failure, or ratings.

Fringe area: The area of a broadcasting employee's head where hair is beginning to thin due to excessive pulling before (and after) the ratings arrive.

Gain: To add body weight by consuming the staples of an announcer's diet. See "Food groups."

Gate: An electrical device which allows only unwanted noise of a certain strength to pass.

High impedance: A characteristic of the consumer-grade audio equipment used to outfit many stations. See "Trade out."

Holiday: See "Workday."

Inaudible tone: An audio tone beneath the range of human hearing which is generally used to cause another piece of equipment to malfunction.

Induction: A formal inauguration into the glamorous world of broadcasting - usually the first tiny paycheck.

Initial sound: The scratching sound made by a General Manager who's perfected a rapid, indecipherable signature.

Input: Any suggestions or thoughts communicated to management which are subsequently ignored.

IPS: British colloquial pronunciation of "hips."

Jack: A tool for lifting heavy loads, such as an aging and abused station van with serious mechanical problems. See "Alignment."

Jewel case: A hard plastic case in which compact discs are stored; the only place in which a compact disc is safe from damage.

Kill date: Any length of time, up to several weeks, before a timely announcement, promo or commercial is actually terminated.

Lavalier mic: A small microphone, usually hung around the neck or attached to the wearer's lapel, which has the unique ability to pick up embarrassing internal body sounds.

Lead: Industry gossip or hearsay about a job opening which doesn't exist.

Line-in: A circuit or cable through which amplified unwanted noise is fed into a system or piece of equipment.

Line-out: A circuit or cable through which amplified unwanted noise emanates from a system or piece of equipment.

Low impedance: Low resistance to electrical loads. The human body is considered a low impedance device.

Megahertz: Severe injuries inflicted by molten drops of solder, various engineering tools, or electrical currents.

NAB: A yearly convention at which broadcasters brag about their jobs and simultaneously look for better opportunities within their fields.

NABET: A yearly convention where the language of acronyms is perfected.

Nondirectional mic: A microphone that picks up unwanted sounds from all directions.

Ohm: British colloquial pronunciation of "home."

Out cue: The sound which precedes dead air.

Output: The electrical point in a piece of equipment from which unwanted noise emanates.

Pan: To direct unwanted noise to either the left or right channel of a stereo mix.

Patch: A temporary fix for the worn tires of a rapidly aging and abused station van.

Patch cord: A cord which is not quite long enough to connect different pieces of electronic equipment.

Peak indicator: A worthless title given in lieu of a raise, signalling the employee that he or she has reached the "compensation ceiling."

Phone patch: Electrical circuit or cable which feeds the noise generated by a telephone line directly into broadcast equipment.

Potentiometer: A device used to overmodulate an audio signal. Often called a "pot."

Power: That which turns a mild-mannered human who finds himself in his first management position, into an insufferable tyrant.

Primer: A document issued by the FCC to complicate the definition of a rule or concept of the commission.

Promo: An announcement about any contest, program, or event sponsored by the station which will be much less successful than anticipated.

Proof of performance: Electrical measurements which prove that the station has not been operating within designated parameters.

Propagation: Transmission or dissemination of unwanted noise.

Public file: A file which does not contain the important documents it's supposed to.

Rack mount: A rack or cabinet of standard dimensions into which equipment does not fit.

Reference monitor: (1) A monitor speaker which faithfully reproduces unwanted noise. (2) A monitor speaker which allows the listener to hear the poor quality of the recording equipment and medium.

Resistance: What one encounters when making a case for desperately needed new equipment during a budget review.

Resistor: The person whose bonus is based on keeping the bottom line as low as possible.

Ribbon mic: A microphone that picks up unwanted sounds by means of a thin strip of metal vibrating in a magnetic field.

Rough mix: A preliminary mix of an audio production which, when played for a station client, will provide an insight into how difficult working with that client will be.

Rules And Regulations: A publication issued by the FCC with which a station can determine which rules and regulations it is breaking.

Shotgun mic: A highly directional mic which can zero in on unwanted sounds coming from a considerable distance.

Signal: Any wild gesturing made to attract the attention of an announcer who's telling off-color jokes while his mic is still on.

Stop tone: An unpleasant vocal characteristic used by management to signal the broadcasting employee to stop whining about the need for new equipment.

Trade out: A clever method of outfitting a station with inexpensive and inferior consumer-grade electronic gear.

TRT: Total running time; the elapsed time between the beginning of a programming element and the beginning of a period of dead air.

Union scale: An artificially overpriced pay scale for union members which allows the member to make the same amount of money he'd make as a non-union member, with just enough left over to pay ridiculously high union dues.

Variable speed: A function of most broadcasting employees which is directly proportional to the amount of caffeine ingested.

Windscreen: A haven for second-hand microbacteria.

Workday: See "Holiday."