This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Thursday, 18 June 2015

Total blank: a rant

As someone who's been trying to play the piano for nearly half a century (eek! How did I get so old?) I appreciate very well that of all a pianist's technical problems, turning the pages can be almost the trickiest.

The printers are supposed to sort out this problem by refraining from asking you to turn a page while playing a passage that goes at the speed of a jet-powered cheetah with one hand whilst leaping about like a lottery-winning mountain goat with the other.

File:BWV 773 sheet music.pdf
(We have to hope this, above, is the left-hand page of Bach's glorious and rather tricky two-part invention. Though actually it isn't as fast as it looks.)

The process of sorting out where the page-turns come in the music is called pagination, and it's usually quite easy - you just stretch or squeeze the spaces between the notes so that the page turn comes at a quiet moment. Sometimes people leave a page blank to assist with this.

Sometimes some total and complete idiot will print: THIS PAGE HAS BEEN INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK on it.

Which means, of course, that it hasn't.

Word To Use Today: blank. This word comes from the Old French blanc, white. Rather charmingly, there was an Old English word blanca, which meant white horse.






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