Silly Saturday – February 29, 2020

Happy Leap Day!

Since this is an “extra” day I thought I’d provide a couple bits of trivia for you.

Did you know? …

When you open a physical book you have two pages. The left and the right. Those pages actually have names! verso and recto. Verso is the left hand page and Recto is the right hand page. This is commonly talked about in publishing production when communicating with a typesetter.

Printed books always begin on the Recto (right) page. Most non-fiction continues this with every chapter. But fiction has the freedom to start a new chapter on the verso page.

The title page is always recto.
The copyright page is always directly after that … verso.

The page number begins with recto. Since recto is always page one, your odd number pages should always be on the right hand side. I often see self published books that don’t do this. A sign of someone who doesn’t know the conventions of book printing.


The last “letter” in the alphabet used to be “and.” Back in the old days you recited the alphabet and ended it with “and, per se, and.”  This was later corrupted into the term “ampersand” and the symbol (&) we use today to indicate the word “and.” (To the right is a picture from an 1863 textbook showing the last “letter” of the alphabet.”)



12 Responses to Silly Saturday – February 29, 2020

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    Barbara February 29, 2020 at 6:16 am #

    Wow–this was not silly at all but something good to know! I knew about recto/verso so this was a good reminder–and certainly didn’t know about the “and, per se, and”! Thank you for sharing this!

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    Roberta Sarver February 29, 2020 at 6:31 am #

    You and your agents come up with the most fascinating facts! Thanks for sharing this bit of trivia.

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    Nancy Massand February 29, 2020 at 6:58 am #

    Thanks! I never knew that.
    More fun Leap Day trivia: Irish legend has it that St. Brigid struck a deal with St. Patrick that on Leap Day women could propose to men. If a man refuses a Leap Day proposal, he must buy the woman 12 pairs of gloves, so she can hide her shame of not wearing a ring after being rejected. It was a win-win for the ladies (once every 4 years).

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    sherri stewart February 29, 2020 at 7:47 am #

    Love this

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    Karen Procopio February 29, 2020 at 8:10 am #

    Fascinating! Thanks!

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    Janet Ann Collins February 29, 2020 at 8:49 am #

    Did you know the ampersand is a blending of the letters e and t, which spell et, the Latin word for and?
    And the word, ampersand, was originally ‘and per se and’ which means something like and, in itself, is and?

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    Sheri Dean Parmelee, Ph.D February 29, 2020 at 12:37 pm #

    What absolute fun information! It’s not silly at all.

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    Marlene Worrall February 29, 2020 at 1:49 pm #

    Hi Steve,
    Very interesting info. Thanks for taking the time to do this.

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    Jim Reeverts February 29, 2020 at 8:17 pm #

    Wow. Two very helpful factoids – one I should get up to speed on quite soon, given my interest in self-publishing. One is a back-pocket piece with which to impress my buddies, lol! Thanks, Steve- appreciate all your great insights.

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    Patti Lee March 1, 2020 at 1:35 am #

    This was so interesting. I love learning bits like this. Thank you very much for sharing.

  11. Avatar
    Michelle Martin March 4, 2020 at 9:31 am #

    I learned something interesting today, silly or not . Silly being my preference . 🙂

  12. Avatar
    sara March 12, 2020 at 2:33 pm #

    Interesting. And I always wondered why all my literary agents preferred to do e-mailings instead. Now I know why.

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