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Picture of zmježd
posted
A while back, I started to notice that some of the books being digitized at Google Books sometimes had pages which showed the fingers of the technician doing the scanning. They are all the more startling, because they are in color and because they are encased in pink finger-stalls (latex finger sheaths). I never knew the term finger-stall until today when reading a post elsewhere on the foxglove (ISV Digitalis purpurea) and it occurred in an OED citation. Until today, I had always thought of them by the slang (medical) term pinkie cheater. Though those are the usual beige color, and not pink. The pinkie in question undoubtedly being the smallest finger standing in for all the other ones. The OED goes on to say that finger-stalls are usually made of leather (at least in the late Victorian / early Edwardian age during which a goodly part of the OED was compiled. (I started at one point to take screen captures of the Google Books pages (link); I began to think that the people were doing it on purpose as fingers usually only occurred on title or blank pages.)


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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If you've heard The Mikado, you've encountered "finger-stalls" before:


MIKADO: The billiard sharp whom anyone catches,
His doom's extremely hard--
He's made to dwell
In a dungeon cell
On a spot that's always barred.
And there he plays extravagant matches
In fitless finger-stalls
On a cloth untrue
With a twisted cue
And elliptical billiard balls!

CHORUS: My object all sublime
I shall achieve in time--
To let the punishment fit the crime--
The punishment fit the crime;
And make each prisoner pent
Unwillingly represent
A source of innocent merriment!
Of innocent merriment!
 
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Picture of Richard English
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quote:
I never knew the term finger-stall until today

It's common enough in the UK.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8038 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Caterwauller
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quote:
I began to think that the people were doing it on purpose as fingers usually only occurred on title or blank pages.)

Maybe those are just the only pages where they don't find it an important enough mistake to correct it? If it occured on a page full of text, they'd have to reshoot that one, wouldn't they?


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
Posts: 5149 | Location: Columbus, OhioReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of zmježd
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Maybe those are just the only pages where they don't find it an important enough mistake to correct it?

Could be. I have found some in the middle of books, along with hastily or mis-scanned pages. These are usually brought to the attention of Google Books and rescanned. For a while, there were various librarian blogs rants about it (usually offered as proof that it was a badly run project in general).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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These finger stalls are different from finger condoms? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_cot
 
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Picture of zmježd
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Well, I guess the leather ones were, but I guess it depends on their use. Structurally and materials-wise they seem the same. My wife also pointed out that she's heard finger-stalls also called finger guards or pinkie guards.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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Ah...we use finger cots in health care. I will leave it at that. Wink
 
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