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« Dictionary Index « Definitions under M

Marginal Notes

generally called side notes by printers, are notes at the fore edge of the page, running from top to bottom, or placed opposite the matter to which they refer, when they are short. They are generally of the width of a broad quotation; in historical works, where there is only a date at the top of each page, a narrow quotation is run down the side. They are always used in acts of parliament, and in law books, and contain a short abstract of the clause to which they are affixed, and should be justified to range with the line to which they refer.

It is usual, where marginal notes are not heavy, to economise the metal quotations by using furniture; in this case I would advise the compositor to select pieces of precisely the same width, but of different short lengths, and to cut their ends square; some should extend the length of the page; and when he uses short pieces, that he always put a metal quotation or a justifier next to the note, which will cause the lines to stand more even; he will then not lose so much time in seeking quotations and justifiers, nor will he be blamed for monopolising them, as they are seldom so plentiful in an office as to allow of being lavishly used.

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