Editorial: What does it mean?
Every occupation has its own language recognized and used by insiders. We think newspaper work has some of the oddest terms around.
For example, the "go bag."
We don’t know if this term is unique to the Gazette-Journal. It may be. The go bag is part of our daily routine.
In short, the go bag is a paper bag of materials taken by hand between the Mathews and Gloucester offices of the G-J. (Once upon a time, brown envelopes stamped "Rush … News Copy" were mailed nightly from Mathews to Gloucester for typesetting in the morning, but today we rely on the computer to transmit most of this material.)
Go bags contain hard copies of ads for placement, records of new subscriptions, photographs, and news items, in short, the many different parts that make up our weekly paper. The bags are used and reused to the point of disintegration, and when one gives way (it may have a date of 1995 or the like on it from some prior use) a new one is reluctantly put into service.
"Go bag" is droll shorthand for the bag that contains materials that need to go to the other office. So droll, in fact, that it reminds us of the late Virginia Ward of the Mathews office, whose dry humor made a lasting mark; perhaps she originated the phrase when filling yet another daily bag for the Gloucester office. We would like to think so.