Re: Intentionally left blank

Subject: Re: Intentionally left blank
From: Gary Robinson <Robinson -at- COMINC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 11:56:03 -0400

I believe the use of the phrase was instituted by the military during World
War II to indicate that, even though a page was blank, content wasn't
missing from documents. I have used it occasionally in client documents
when the style mandated that each chapter begin on a facing page. Frequently
clients would ask me why the previous page was blank.

Gary G. Robinson
Technical Communications
COM, Incorporated - An Enprotech Company
7300 W. Huron River Drive
Dexter, MI 48130
734-426-7000 x20 734-426-7004 fax
robinson -at- cominc -dot- com <mailto:robinson -at- cominc -dot- com> <>

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Strasser [SMTP:paul -dot- strasser -at- WINDSOR-TECH -dot- COM]
Sent: Thursday, May 27, 1999 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: Intentionally left blank

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
over and asked me what was up, and I showed him the page with the
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
>beginning to work with electronic manuals. It was a check on the
>I was working on contract there at the time. The manuals were
>checked, and sent out without removing the Blank blurb. I suppose
>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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