Re: Intentionally left blank

Subject: Re: Intentionally left blank
From: Paul Strasser <paul -dot- strasser -at- WINDSOR-TECH -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 09:40:53 -0500

The first time I encountered the "intentionally left blank" phrase was late
at night in a retail store, where I was learning to program some big, ugly
IBM box. I came upon that phrase and burst out laughing. The boss came
over and asked me what was up, and I showed him the page with the phrase.
He said -- okay, it was left blank. Why is that funny? I pointed out that
it wasn't blank -- there were those words on it.

He still didn't get it. Sigh.... my refined, sleep-deprived sense of humor
was lost on him.

There must be a term for this type of phrase. Perhaps 'self-canceling, like
"this sentence contains six words."

Paul Strasser
Westminster, CO

>As far as I know, this phrase originated at IBM when they were first
>beginning to work with electronic manuals. It was a check on the
>I was working on contract there at the time. The manuals were developed,
>checked, and sent out without removing the Blank blurb. I suppose it
>from there to the IBM sycophants and thence into general usage. I will not
>put it in anything with my name on it. :-)

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