Boilerplate – heavy piece of sheet iron, later steel, used in steam boiler construction.
Boilerplate – generic text in a contract or policy, any text the same from document to document.

How words get associated facsinates me. How does a piece of sheet metal equal generic text? I didn’t know.

So to find out we go to the late 1800s newspaper business and a company called Western Newspaper Union. Their idea was to make available national and international news that a small local paper would find hard, expensive, or impossible to gather. Thus the birth of syndicated news. Western would gather and typeset the national and international stories and distribute to their subscribers the plates to fit the local printing press. Then the local would print their papers with the syndicated news from these plates and the local news and advertising from their own plates. All the subscribers to Western got the same plates, therefore the papers printed the same text.

See where we’re going here?

A local paper set their copy into a soft alloy plate. Western plates had to be shipped all over so their plates were harder and heavier to withstand shipping. Ergo the slang ‘boilerplate’ came to mean the heavier Western plates and so by extension to mean the identical text printed from those plates

Though typesetting and printing is all computerized today the terminology remains.

In the future I’ll look at filmmaking terms and stagecraft terms.


Inspire me

There was an interesting comment thread going on at another blog (be advised Hazel may be a tad wild for sensitive tastes) I thought I’d expand on.

The subject of an artists inspiration. To avoid the ‘art’ ‘artist’ definition discussions I’m using the phrase “working artist”. This is MY DEFINITION and means someone trying to live (get paid, provide necessities) through the production of art. See earlier post forĀ  a definition of art.

I am inspired by living and my observation is other artists are also. It could be how the flowers smelled in Monet’s garden, for Degas the turn of the dancers leg, Wayne Thiebaud seems to see art in icing. What ever it is it’s in the life of the artist.

My friend Sondra Olson I think is inspired by the dark. By the way she is showing again, reception 7 March, 2009 at:

Winters Participation Gallery Center for the Arts
18 Main Street Winters, CA 95694 530-795-0608

But what inspires us is secondary to the drive to create. If one is not driven and willing to work, hard, all the inspiration in the world won’t paint that canvas or etch that plate. And that is the line; that is where the art comes into play. Work, doing, is what makes art. All the inspiration in the world and $1.85 will get you a cup of coffee (if you don’t drink coffee $2.00 will get you a Starbucks).

Off to my arting.