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simple variable question

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I am getting a "left" ambiguous variable error. I am trying to move a breakout paddle left. I was told not to use global variables but then I am unsure of how to tackle this problem. I will do more research on functions and global variables.
void paddle_left(void)
//draw paddle
glTexCoord2f(-1.0f, 0.0f);
glVertex3f(-1.0+left, -4.5f, 0.0f);
glTexCoord2f(-1.0F, 1.0f);
glVertex3f(1.0f+left, -4.5f, 0.0f);
glTexCoord2f(0.0f, 1.0f);
glVertex3f(1.0f+left, -5.0f, 0.0f);
glTexCoord2f(0.0f, 0.0f);
glVertex3f(-1.0+left, -5.0f, 0.0f);
I am using texture mapping to draw the paddle.

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From what I can tell, you need to either have the variable left, as a global, or if you dont want to do that, you need to pass in the variable for 'left' as a parameter....

void paddle_left(float left)

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