Stop the presses.
Editors, shop foremen and head pressmen in the newspaper industry, back in the day, were not above shouting out “Stop the presses” if there was a major correction that had to made, or worse yet, if there was trouble somewhere in the machinery of the aging die-hard printing press.
Truth be told, the phrase might have been used more in movies and television than in real life.
In in the weekly newspaper back shops, once the editor got the eye of the pressman, it was usually the “hand cutting across the neck” signal that silenced the press.
“Shut it down” did the trick, too.
“SHUT THE DAMN PRESS DOWN!” That also worked.
There were any number of reasons for shutting down a press after it was rolling, none of them good.
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