Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Non coupé!

In French, "non coupé" translates as not cut. That is exactly what I say when I come upon, as I have three times now, pages in Derby Day and Other Adventures that are still joined. In trying to find out information about this condition on the Internet, I discovered that the correct term for this state is unopened.

Uncut refers to pages that are rough or uneven. Untrimmed. Think deckle-edged.

Unopened refers to the book's pages at the fore edge and/or top that are still joined from the folding. Back in the day, many books were issued unopened. Men used to carry a paper knife ( in some sort of protective sheath, I hope) to cut the pages in such books. Today we would call such a tool a letter opener which is just what I used to carefully open the pages.

I guess this means that the original owner of the book did not read all of it. That is a shame for I find it engrossing.

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