Mason County News
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011 • Posted January 12, 2011




What a funny word.


Rhymes with bank, sank, and tank.

But its history isn’t blank.

The word originally was "blanc" ("white").

Comes from Middle English and Old French.

According to trusty Webster.

From there it went to Frankish "blank."

(Frankish? Is there a Fredish?)

The Frankish word means: white, gleaming, akin to Old English "blanca"

(meaning "white steed").

And that got convoluted with Indo-European "bhleg" which means "to shine."

Shiny white horse go fast white shine blur.

(Sorry, I blanked out.)

So there you have it.

Blank implies emptiness or nothingness.

Kind of like zero.

So who needs it?

Apparently we do.

Because we use the word a lot.

Just like we use zeros.

When the facts aren’t there, we fill in the blanks.

We buy a lottery ticket that doesn’t win.

It’s a blank.

A powder-filled cartridge without a bullet—it’s a blank.

If we don’t know the answer on a test, we guess.

Or leave it blank.

Or we look at the teacher with a blank stare.

A blank check makes us nervous.

Or very happy.

All depends on who signs it.

Blank is a word without color.

Or dimensions.

Blank is where nothing exists.

Nothing sticks or stays.

Or it couldn’t be blank.

Yet blank is there occupying space.

A place without a country.

An invisible placeholder.

A void.

And…uh, well…never mind.

I’m drawing a blank.

That’s Mason.

Renee Walker is an author, poet, and real estate broker on the square.

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