Correction fluid

Correction fluid
Correction fluid can be written on after it has dried.

A correction fluid is an opaque, white fluid applied to paper to mask errors in text. Once dried, it can be written over. It is typically packaged in small bottles, and the lid has an attached brush (or a triangular piece of foam) which dips into the bottle. The brush is used to apply the fluid onto the paper.

Before the invention of word processors, correction fluid greatly facilitated the production of typewritten documents.

One of the first forms of correction fluid was invented in 1951 by the secretary Bette Nesmith Graham, founder of Liquid Paper, and mother of Mike Nesmith of The Monkees.



Because it contains organic solvents (volatile organic compounds), unused correction fluid thickens over time as volatile solvents escape into the air. It can become too thick to use, and sometimes completely solidifies. Therefore, some manufacturers sell also bottles of solvent as "thinner", a few drops of which will return the correction fluid to its original liquid state.

Thinner originally contained toluene, which was banned due to its toxicity. Later, it contained 1,1,1-trichloroethane, a skin irritant now widely banned under the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer, and then the slightly safer trichloroethylene. Thinners currently used with correction fluid include bromopropane.[citation needed]

To avoid the inconveniences of organic solvents (safety and availability), some brands of fluid are water-based. However, those have the disadvantages of a longer drying time, and incompatibility with some inks (which will soak through them).

Abuse as an inhalant

Organic solvents are psychoactive when deliberately inhaled. Such solvents are common inhalants for adolescents[1] due, in part, to the fact that they are inexpensive in comparison to other recreational drugs. Use of correction fluid as an inhalant can cause the heart to beat rapidly and irregularly, which can cause death. An unpleasant smell is added to some brands in order to deter abusers.[2] Companies have worked closely with authorities in order to ensure that all the warnings are duly mentioned on packaging (card and product labels) to inform parents and younger users of the risks associated with inhaling or drinking the fluid.

Correction pens

More recently, correction fluid has become available in pen form; the pen is spring-loaded and, when dabbed onto the paper, releases a small amount of fluid. If the pen does dry out, a few vigorous shakes usually get the fluid to flow again. Compared to the bottled form, the pen allows a more even and thin application, and is less prone to drying out (since only a tiny surface is exposed during application) or clogging.

Notable brands

Correction fluid is commonly referred to by the leading brand names. These brands include:

Generally, "Liquid Paper" and "Wite-Out" are used in the United States, Canada and Australia, while "Tipp-Ex" is used in Europe. Twink is the leading brand, and colloquial term, for correction fluid in New Zealand. In the English-speaking Caribbean the term "White-paper paste" is used. In India the name "White Ink" is used by the student community.[citation needed]. In Panama "Liquid Paper" (pronounced LEE-keed paper without a rolled R) is the colloquial term and it is used the vast majority of times, the only exceptions being made for very formal contexts and/or by language purists where the correct Spanish term corrector is used instead[citation needed].

Many brands offer "original" and "solvent free" (water-soluble) varieties, along with colored varieties for use on colored paper[citation needed].

See also



External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • correction fluid — noun : a liquid used to paint over typing or writing errors * * * noun [noncount] : a liquid used to cover typing or writing errors * * * corˈrection fluid f2 [correction fluid] noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • correction fluid — an opaque, quick drying fluid for obliterating handwritten or typewritten matter. * * * …   Universalium

  • correction fluid — noun A white, opaque fluid, applied to paper to mask textual errors; used especially to mask errors in typing so that corrections may be overtyped Syn: whiteout …   Wiktionary

  • correction fluid — cor rection .fluid n [U] a special white liquid used for covering mistakes made when writing something …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • correction fluid — cor rection ,fluid noun uncount a white liquid used for covering the mistakes in a piece of writing …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • correction fluid — noun Date: 1968 a liquid used to paint over typing or writing errors …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • correction fluid — noun an opaque liquid that may be painted over a typed or written error …   English new terms dictionary

  • correction fluid — noun (U) formal a special white liquid used for covering written mistakes …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • correction fluid — UK / US noun [uncountable] a white liquid used for covering the mistakes in a piece of writing …   English dictionary

  • correction fluid — /kəˈrɛkʃən fluəd/ (say kuh rekshuhn floohuhd) noun 1. a white substance in an organic solvent, used to obliterate an error in a text, graphic, etc.; white out. 2. a liquid used to obliterate a mistake in a gestetner stencil …  

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