Saturday, February 20, 2021

Why some pages really are intentionally left blank

Have you ever started reading a book (or just finished reading one) and come across a page that is almost entirely empty, save for the phrase "This page intentionally left blank?"

These pages always made me laugh, but I was never sufficiently curious to find out why they were there.

And by the way, most things that seem ridiculous to us have some rationale behind them, I've noticed. That doesn't mean you have to agree with the rationale, but in the majority of cases when you come across something that seems entirely weird and nonsensical, someone along the way had a reason for making them that way.

Anyway, this article is a good read if you have a minute: Why are some pages "intentionally left" blank and why do they say this?

If you're looking for the Cliff Note's version, the reasons include these:

(1) Simply to let you know they put the page there on purpose and weren't just careless.

(2) For timed test booklets, they're there to make it a little more difficult (and a little more obvious) when students are flipping ahead to sections of the test before they're supposed to.

(3) To prevent bleed-through of ink from subsequent pages

(4) Because printed works are often printed on sheets of four pages each, and there's simply not enough text to fill a particular four-page sheet

(5) In case you suddenly want to take notes in the middle of the book (though this one seems fishy to me)

So there you go. If nothing else, you can come to this blog to learn things for which you have no use whatsoever. You're welcome.

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