Tuesday 07 October 1997
Peter Fooks suggests that if you leave two pieces of negative space together, they will multiply and form a positive space, which would solve the problem of not having enough room to print all our readers' Creativity suggestions. Fiona and John Earle point out that negative charges repel one another, so a screen of negative space could be used to banish negative thoughts and negative people.
Many readers pointed out that negative space is that little flap where photo shops put the developed film before they get the pictures the right way round. Several others reckoned that negative space is just the sort of land on which one can invest one's negative equity.
Tony Chilvers says that negative space is totally oxymoronic and not even a lacuna or hiatus. Maria O Treadwell, however, points out that "negative space" is an anagram of "vagina pees etc".
Sylvester Campion says it makes an excellent storage facility, because however much of it you use up, there will always be some left over. With that in mind, he thinks it could perhaps be used to store Sian Cole's excess libido. ER Brown thinks it's the only place where the delectable Ms Cole would say "no".
Negative Space, Peter Thomas tells us, was the girl singer rejected from the group that recorded: "Tell you what I don't want, what I really, really, really don't want". She is now being used as a site for a takeaway, or a stage for a Japanese Noh play, or a political advertising hoarding, or material for repairing any black holes in your socks.
More ideas in brief: theatrical stage for productions of No, No, Nanette, or Dr No or No Orchids for Miss Blandish (RJ Pickles); place to store those sections of the Sunday papers that you intend to, but never will, read later (Robbie Jones); fill it with pregnant pauses (Anne Mansell); tie a not in it (Liz Swift); memo pad for jotting down negative thoughts (Judith Holmes); slice it thinly to let the typewriter breathe between lines (Maguy Higgs); put the kids in it every time they say "no" or refuse to co-operate (Val Pargeter); eliminate it after accentuating the positive but before latching on to the affirmative (Kathleen Newell).
"It's where the speaker corrals the `No' votes after a division in the House," says Mollie Caird. A strip of negative space along the front of a vacuum cleaner enhances its capacity, says Renee Gallagher. "Ask not what negative space can do for you, but what you can do for negative space," says Bill Palmer, somewhat negatively. The Rev Tony Furlong somewhat irreverently suggests combining it with anti-gravity to bring about the destruction of the universe. AJ Brewer sent us svrl xmpls f ngtv spc bt w dn't hv rm t pblsh thm. Tony Deakin has plenty of ideas but cannot find them.
Negative prizes to all contributors except Mike Marsh, Liz Swift and Peter Thomas. Next week, things to do with the millennium bug. In the meantime, Maguy Higgs is desperate for things to do with dimples. Can anyone help? Ideas to: Creativity, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Chambers Dictionary prizes for the ones we like best.
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