After the break; what does it mean and where did it originate?
August 30, 2012 4:51 PM   Subscribe

After the break; what does it mean and where did the phrase originate?

I see this phrase called upon to the point of misuse. And generally when a writer is including something "after the break", it is usually one line break or paragraph break after the original post.

Is that what it means? "Break" in the article? And as a side note, how can we get everyone on earth to stop using this atrociously overused phrase?

Thanks MeFites!
posted by fieldcannotbeblank to Human Relations (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
To my knowledge, it is shorthand for after the commercial break, as a teaser to entice the viewer to keep watching through the commercials.
posted by davejay at 4:55 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I always thought it was a TV phrase that meant "after the commercials" since that block of ads is known as the "commercial break".
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:56 PM on August 30, 2012

or what he said.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:56 PM on August 30, 2012

I can't quite understand why it would be used in a written context, except tongue-in-cheek.
posted by davejay at 4:56 PM on August 30, 2012

I'm faster than two rabbits!
posted by davejay at 4:57 PM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

It's not usually called the "break" in print, but similar phrases are originally referring to, say, when a few paragraphs of an article were on the front page of the newspaper but then it says "continued on page 7" and you have to go to page 7. Now the break may be where the RSS feed ends, or what shows on some front page, or where an ad unit is intended -- if you're just reading the main article page online you may not see the "break" that would have been there if you had seen a paragraph on the front page or through an RSS feed.
posted by brainmouse at 4:58 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think the OP is referring to its use in on-line "journalism". Also often phrased as "After the jump".
posted by humboldt32 at 4:59 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think its an old newspaper term: same as 'after the jump', it refers to the continuation of a story, as in "continued on page x"
posted by easily confused at 4:59 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Agreed with above on the origin. I see this used a lot on blogs on the front page. If you are reading this on a blog and you are clicked on the post itself instead of the main page, then you wouldnt see the "break" in the post. It would be a lot like the [more inside] we use here. I guess sometimes people actually write in the article "after the break" instead of putting that as the link text?
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:00 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

This previous question might be helpful...
posted by DeadliestQuack at 5:00 PM on August 30, 2012

I've seen "after the break" used jokingly or ironically to imitate television newscasters ("Is your dishwasher going to kill your kids? Find out more after the break! *cut to commercial*)

Usually in blogging or online journalism, it's "after the jump," with the "jump" being the act of clicking on a link that says something like "click here to read the rest of the article."
posted by erst at 5:01 PM on August 30, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks so much for the info and the posts! :)
posted by fieldcannotbeblank at 5:03 PM on August 30, 2012

I'm wondering if it means after the intermission, as in theatre...
posted by holdenjordahl at 5:35 PM on August 30, 2012

"Break" is short for page break.
posted by hermitosis at 6:02 PM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Just to add to what's already been said, the use of breaks or cuts in blogging is largely to boost pageviews, and by that same token, advertising revenue for clicks.
posted by araisingirl at 6:06 PM on August 30, 2012

Yeah, "after the break" or "after the jump" = [more inside]
posted by Sara C. at 8:43 PM on August 30, 2012

araisingirl - I also feel like a page break is a good idea on a blog post on the front page that goes over about 800 words. Because otherwise So Much Scrolling if you aren't interested in that particular post.

I'm talking to you, fashion blogs with fifteen HUGE photos of you and your ugly pleated pants.
posted by Sara C. at 8:45 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

To be a little more precise, advertisers don't like to be down the screen where you need to scroll to be seen. Since in-line ads, therefore, must be on the first visible screen, this necessitates a (usually) hyperlink jump to the continuation of the blog content. This is NOT, however, usually going to add another page view. It's just a way to make sure that the in-line ad is smack dab in the middle of what the viewer is looking at.

In-line ads get much higher click-through rates, but are also understood to be noticed more than ads off in the periphery.
posted by dhartung at 5:41 PM on August 31, 2012

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