We are all familiar with user manuals or documents with pages printed with "intentionally blank" ... but with those words on them, they are no longer blank!

I'm pretty sure I saw a user manual once with pages like this:

We were going to say this page is intentionally blank, but once we did, we realized it isn't blank any more.

Would there be a better way of expressing this concept? Such as "intentionally conveys no useful information"? (Except, now it does - it conveys that it has no useful information)

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    Seriously, we're you puzzled by the intentionally blank thing or are you just testing out material that will make you the next Jerry Seinfeld? – deadrat Jul 3 '15 at 7:56
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    i once saw a sign on the inside of a shop window in Norwich which said "No posters or signs of any kind whatsoever are to be fixed to this window". I relished the insistence on self-inclusion! – Margana Jul 3 '15 at 8:20
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    Ignore this page – Edwin Ashworth Jul 3 '15 at 8:32
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    “This page intentionally left blank. This text is not here. There is no spoon.” – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 3 '15 at 8:49
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    I have seen wording along the lines of "This page contains no meaningful information" (not exactly what I've seen but something like that). However, the "intentionally left blank" idiom is so well known and understood (and a source of mild amusement in otherwise dry documents) that there's no reason to change it. – Hot Licks Jul 3 '15 at 12:35

My proposition: "The rest of this page is intentionally left blank."

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    @Margana I got the impression that a way of rephrasing it is exactly what the OP is asking for. – Avon Jul 3 '15 at 17:13
  • Perhaps @NickGammon could confirm that. – Avon Jul 3 '15 at 17:13
  • I agree what better phrasing is what I was after. Clearly the intention of such messages it to avoid people thinking that the page was blank due to a printing error. Some wording other than the incorrect "this page is blank" (intentionally or otherwise) was requested. – Nick Gammon Jul 3 '15 at 21:01
  • Konrad, I'm very sorry. I misread your answer. You have addressed the issue, and I'm deleting my comment that suggested otherwise. And... +1 – Margana Jul 3 '15 at 22:42

The phrase would be put right if it excluded itself from the message.

Therefore, I suggest:

This page intentionally left otherwise blank

  • Not need really, the standard phrase is as the OP has mentioned. – Kris Jul 3 '15 at 9:36
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    @Kris The question was for a replacement to the standard phrase. I disagree with your comment 2. to the question. The page is, as the OP says, demonstrably not blank once the phrase is printed on it. – Avon Jul 3 '15 at 9:38

How about on the previous page of the one to be left 'BLANK', write, The following page has been intentionally left blank.


To take a page out of Douglas Adam's book:

This page is not entirely unlike a blank page.

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    “This page is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a non-blank page.” – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 25 at 23:23
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    You're going to be banned from the library for doing that!! – Hot Licks Apr 25 at 23:42

"Blank" is the word causing the conflict.

Why not, "This page is not intended for use"?

Note: The "intended use" here is to answer questions or provide information, say for example, about one's health (in a multiple-page insurance application). Just this page is not for use, while its flip side carries questions. If it's left blank, one may write notes on it. So, to prevent such "unauthorized" notes, which might carry legal implications, the companies print such a warning.

  • But how would you "use" a page like this? You'd read it, yes? So "This page is not intended for use" would mean "This page is not to be read". But you'd have to read it to find out that it's not to be read. Still doesn't work, I'm afraid. – Margana Jul 3 '15 at 16:10
  • @Margana: The multiple-page form may have, say, page 4 left intentionally blank, which is not to be discarded because page 3 (the flip side) contains important information. The intended "use" of such a form is to answer questions on it. I deal with such forms at work. – Sankarane Jul 3 '15 at 16:28

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