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Page 54

Blankness is easier to fill
than to talk about. In government
(and other legalistic) documents,
you may encounter the following:

All or part of a page has been left
blank (perhaps to leave room for late
additions without need to change pagination),
but not entirely blank, containing
the following:

[This page has been left intentionally blank.]
[The remainder of the page has been left intentionally blank.]

When I first saw this (I mean,
one like it), false, for all its implied
rigor, its pickiness, I felt impelled
to make it true. My suggested wording:

[This page, except for the words you are now
reading (and this statement applies even when
you are not reading these words, that is those
beginning "This page" and extending at least
to the 2nd "here" here -- the one without
quotation marks), extending from the open bracket
46 words before the previous use of the word
"bracket" -- but without the quotation marks --
to the closing bracket, coming up (words not yet
counted because not yet written as we speak --
that is, emulate speech in these words) and
inclusive of the brackets themselves, and
not counting page numbers or other footer
or header material at the bottom or top
of this page -- assuming that "this page" refers,
throughout, to the page where this paragraph
began and to any other page into which
it may have overflowed -- this page, as
defined above, has been left intentionally

Note: In a government specifications document, one might say "This page shall support blankness" (or rather, since governments are too irresponsible to allow active voice: "Blankness shall be supported by this page"). (If you've never tried to respond to a government bid and had to wade through Government RFPs (requests for proposals -- invitations to companies to bid to offer products to the government), you should (but, alas, not "shall") have skipped this note.

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