Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

OT More pens

From:Dirk Elzinga <dirk_elzinga@...>
Date:Monday, June 9, 2003, 15:21
On Sunday, June 8, 2003, at 03:10  PM, Roger Mills wrote:

> Christophe wrote: >> I've been reading this thread with wonder: do you really mean that > fountain >> pens are uncommon in America?!!!!! > > I think that is indeed what he means. AFAIK, they're enjoying a > sort-of > come-back, but as status symbols (hence the expensive Mont Blancs et > al.).
Yes, that's what I meant. I have found some cheap "student" pens, though; see below. I shouldn't bad-mouth the "fountain-pen-as-accessory" crowd too much, though. I hope that it is at least in part a reaction to the mechanization of communication that people are turning to fountain pens; using a fountain pen really lays your handwriting bare in a way that ballpoints, rollerballs, felt tips or pencils just can't. And for a lot of people, their handwriting is a very personal statement of who they are (not to mention the "graphologists" who claim to be able to find out all kinds of deep and mysterious things about people from their handwriting). Now if fountain pen users could persuade those companies to make pens that actually work like they should ...
> Having been away from the elementary school scene for a very long > time, I > don't know anymore how,or even if, handwriting is taught. The evidence > suggests that, like spelling, it isn't.(In fairness, despite weekly > drills, > neither my classmates nor I ended up with very legible handwriting > either.) > (And I'm always amused at the irony of the Natl. Spelling Bee champions > being, usually, of non-native origin-- I'll suppose they can write > legibly > too :-)))).
I recall handwriting instruction in elementary school also being, well, uninspiring. The teacher didn't like teaching it (which was obvious to us even then) and of course we didn't like having to do it. The script which we were taught seemed so far removed from what we saw in print or how our teacher really wrote on the board, that it seemed pretty pointless to try to learn it. That was my reaction, anyway. My handwriting didn't turn out all that badly for it, though. Now many teachers are using Denelian script, which has a cursive variant which isn't too far removed from printing. It strikes me as being more "European" in appearance; that is, it looks more like what I saw people using when I was in Germany and the Netherlands.
>> All fountain pens we usually have are empty, and you put >> small plastic ink reserves in them to use them. > > Those used to be available here, but obviously didn't catch on. From > the > manufacturers' POV, of course, the problem is that refillable items > LAST TOO > LONG.
A few months ago, I bought a cheap Parker Reflex fountain pen at WalMart. It was about $7.00, and came with a single ink cartridge. I wanted to see how the cheap pen compared to the Pelikan. Of course, the Pelikan won out, but not by as much as I would have suspected. The Parker actually meets my requirements for a pen: it is lightweight and relatively large in circumference, which makes it comfortable to hold and use (heavy pens and pens with small circumferences can cause cramping and fatigue); it has a fairly rigid nib with a medium point; and best of all, I won't be really upset when it gets lost or broken, because it only cost me $7.00 in the first place. I bought a 4-pack of ink cartridges, and I had my choice of black, blue, or blue-black. Of course, I still prefer writing with the Pelikan or the Super 21. I've had the Pelikan for 13 years now and I'm very happy with it. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga "I believe that phonology is superior to music. It is more variable and its pecuniary possibilities are far greater." - Erik Satie


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>