[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Glossary or no glossary

   To take up the topic Gudrun raised, much as a standard terminology would help
to communicate, I doubt that the various schools of thought could come to a
happy agreement.  Even if strict translation from language to language was
possible, would one traditional school of thought yield to another, and should
it?  What is called the fore edge in English, is called the mouth by the
Chinese, and the spine is, to them, the brain.  I have to admit I am partial to
the English terms, but I can see the logic of the Chinese view.  Given that the
intellect (or lack thereof) is often most evident in the brain-mouth connection,
one might say that the Chinese terminology speaks volumes.
 Of course, the English 'spine' is a very good analogy given the importance of
this area to the structural function it serves.  So who is to say which terms
   Then there is the problem of private vocabulary.  Every binder probably has a
few terms either coined by necessity or learned from a forgotten source.  I
often have to repair new books received from third world countries which are so
poorly constructed that they arrive already broken.  I just repaired one
yesterday, a  brand new  book from an eastern country, which had a spine a good
six inches wide on a quarto sized book.  The text block was already detaching
itself from the case because, as often happens on these books, there were no
spine linings to speak of.  The book was held into the case by the thin paper
pastedowns and a crumpled piece of cheesecloth like fabric which covered about a
third of the spine and extended less than an inch either side.  I call such a
token lining piece 'a fig leaf'.  It is there only to preserve an appearance of
decency and serves no real purpose whatever,  least of all the one suggested by
its location.  Now, if I told another binder that a lot of my time at work is
wasted on "fig leaf bindings" he or she would not have a clue what I was talking
about, but they are a major headache in a lot of libraries, so I know lots of
other people are coping with the problem.
  In short, Gudrun is right, but, Oh Lord, straightening out language is to herd
cats--and to do it in Hell.
    Dorothy Africa

            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:

                          To unsubscribe send:
                            UNSUB Book_Arts-L
                           ALL COMMANDS GO TO:

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]