What a funny word.
Rhymes with bank, sank, and tank.
Also dank, rank, and yank.
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.
You could blank out on that one.
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.
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.
We buy a lottery ticket that doesn’t win.
It’s a blank.
That $1 billion could’ve come in handy.
Blank is a word without color.
Blank is where nothing exists.
Nothing sticks or stays.
Or it couldn’t be blank.
Yet blank is there occupying space.
A non-place without a country.
An invisible placeholder.
Oh well…never mind.
I’m drawing a blank.
Renee Walker is a poet, writer, and real estate broker on the Square with her canine assistant, Buster.Around the Square Jan 13