Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines. They are the reason I haven’t written a post for a while.

Familiar to every freelancer, the word deadline came into the language in 1920s America from newspaper terminology. There is a suggestion that the term comes from a guideline on a printing press plate showing where the content should appear. Print outside the line was dead (metaphorically).

Other sources, like the Online Etymology Dictionary and my Chambers dictionary (1997! I think it needs updating), suggest instead that the original dead line was found in military prisons in the American Civil War in the 1860s. Guards would fire at anyone who crossed the line near the perimeter until they were dead (literally).

A freelance was a mercenary knight or warrior who wandered about Europe after the medieval Crusades.

Mercenary adj hired for money; motivated by the hope of reward. n a person who is hired; a soldier hired into foreign service.

I like to see myself as a wandering mercenary warrior; I just need to travel round Europe more…but then I would miss my deadlines.