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What Do People Say To You When You Whip Out That Pen?

gossip pens people

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504 replies to this topic

Poll: Common perceptions (444 member(s) have cast votes)

What do people say to you when you get out your FP?

  1. "My, that's a weird looking pen." (48 votes [8.05%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.05%

  2. "That's a cool pen!" (162 votes [27.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.18%

  3. "Is that a fountain pen?" (177 votes [29.70%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.70%

  4. "Is that a weapon?" (12 votes [2.01%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.01%

  5. "Can I borrow it?" (38 votes [6.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.38%

  6. "Do you use fountain pens? I do too! (goes off into a monologue)" (18 votes [3.02%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.02%

  7. "That's a very posh pen." (51 votes [8.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.56%

  8. Other (write them in the posts!) (90 votes [15.10%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.10%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#41 Fakie



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Posted 01 June 2013 - 10:31

Can I try that?

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#42 jetsam


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Posted 01 June 2013 - 13:52

I got the weapon response peeling an apple with my little red Swiss Army knife.
I hesitate to show any fountain pen in public because too many people want to try, touch, feel, borrow, have a go, and are understandably oblivious of fountain pen protocol.
Sorry for not spreading the culture.

#43 CharlieTurtle


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Posted 01 June 2013 - 14:04

I got the weapon response peeling an apple with my little red Swiss Army knife.
I hesitate to show any fountain pen in public because too many people want to try, touch, feel, borrow, have a go, and are understandably oblivious of fountain pen protocol.
Sorry for not spreading the culture.


Someone tried using my Lamy upside down the other day. I stood there twitching then laughed when Dan (a friend) yanked it away, turned it the right way up, and repeated the five-minute lecture I'd give him on how to use it.

You can spot a writer a mile off, they're the ones meandering in the wrong direction muttering to themselves and almost walking into every second lamppost.

#44 MKIM97



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Posted 01 June 2013 - 14:07

The reactions I've gotten so far are:


  • Is that a knife? (Steel Parker Vector)
  • Can I try writing with it?
  • How do you write with that?
  • Isn't that hard to use?
  • I thought fountain pens leak everywhere.
  • Nice! (Lacquer Parker Sonnet)


Very seldom do people notice the pen, however, and even rarer is them asking to use it, but I found that if they do they have ballpoint grip syndrome or can't-keep-the-nib-right-side-up syndrome, which makes the pen not work, which makes them give up.


Actually, there was one time when a friend tried using my Vector to write something, and he pressed so hard I am now convinced the Vector is actually a flex pen in disguise. I think he thought you have to push with more pressure than a ballpoint to write with a fountain pen. After correcting him, I walked away for a second, and when I came back another person nearby was using my Vector upside-down.

Edited by MKIM97, 01 June 2013 - 14:18.

#45 ISW_Kaputnik



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Posted 01 June 2013 - 14:21

The most common response is to show no sign of noticing.


Second most is something like "oh, a fountain pen", with no further comments positive or negative.


Third most is "a fountain pen?"  with slight eye-rolling or a superior smile.


Clearly, if my goal was to impress people with my taste in pens, I'm going about it the wrong way.  I actually got more "nice pen" remarks a few years ago when I was using Parker Jotter ballpoints and Fisher Space Pens.  Luckily, impressing others is not a high priority, but they could impress me by recognizing one of my vintage fountain pens. ;)

"So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do." - Benjamin Franklin

#46 Inkheart



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Posted 01 June 2013 - 15:07

I generally get either a flinch (as if they'd come upon an unfamiliar insect), or a sincere but mystified-sounding compliment.

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem,
see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

#47 Toll



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Posted 01 June 2013 - 16:36

Rarely anything -- my colleagues know I am a fountain pen user and that's that. No comments!

#48 Waski_the_Squirrel


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Posted 01 June 2013 - 16:54

"Nice pen" is the most common. "Weird pen" is up there. One or two nasty comments, but I always consider the source.


By far, most people don't even notice.

Proud resident of the least visited state in the nation!

#49 rhodialover



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Posted 01 June 2013 - 17:02


Maybe they use slate and stylus. That's more eco-friendly, ya know ;)


If you go to a school where they can't figure out how to use paper, you need to get yourself into a better school. :happyberet:

Ha! Good one. The school I go to is small, but private e.g must apply and be accepted. It honestly amazed me to learn that my English teacher used to do calligraphy. She saw my pens and then related the story to me, admonishing me not to get ink on other people.  :D


#50 Avalonia



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Posted 01 June 2013 - 17:17

Absolutely nothing. Then again, the only FPs I take out of the house are my 78Gs and Safaris, and I guess no one looks hard enough at the nib to notice that I'm not using a rollerball. 

I'm writing an online serial thing. It's urban fantasy. And I have no idea how long it's going to run for.

#51 Penne Stilografiche

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 17:27

I get a couple of comments in school when I use my fountain pen,


1) Is that a calligraphy pen? (annoys me sooooo much, IT'S A FOUNTAIN PEN!!! )

2) Why don't you use a regular pen?

3) How much did that cost?!!

4) Can I write with it? (I now bring a Jinhao X750 with me as I lent a MB out and I got it back with a broken nib...)

5) Nice pen.

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

—Oscar Wilde

#52 Edwaroth


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Posted 01 June 2013 - 19:54

"Edward...you are so strange." Or, recently, "That's a pretty impressive pen you got there!"

#53 cbaytan


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Posted 01 June 2013 - 21:14

Peeking at my writing: "I want one too"

One boring blue, one boring black 1mm thickness at most.... 

Then there are Fountain Pens with gorgeous permanent inks..

#54 Paul Raposo

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 23:59

Is that a 149 in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?


But seriously, I've stopped using FP's outside of the house since my Duofold Junior incident, so I've never received comments from others.  The only time anyone has said anything, I was trying to beat a guy down on the price he was asking for a watch, and he noticed the white star and clip of my 161 ballpoint in my shirt pocket and said, "You're beating me up on this watch, but you've got a $500 Mon Blank pen in your pocket!"

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.
--William Makepeace Thackeray

Visit my blog to see the pens I have for sale

Paul's Pens

#55 RMN


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Posted 02 June 2013 - 00:32

On average I get 1 or 2 reactions a week, mostly older people remarking on the lines of: I used to.../ that's a long time since I have seen...


Often they comment on the legibility of my handwriting (not the normal doctors scrawl) and then remark: oh you use a......


Once there was a sweet little girl, whispering to her mother: he is using a beautiful pen....

Me all smiles....






Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.





#56 GabrielleDuVent


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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:00

4) Can I write with it? (I now bring a Jinhao X750 with me as I lent a MB out and I got it back with a broken nib...)



I'm amazed you didn't attempt murder. Nobody asks me for a pen - with wisdom.

Tes rires retroussés comme à son bord la rose,

Effacent mon dépit de ta métamorphose;

Tu t'éveilles, alors le rêve est oublié. 


-Jean Cocteau, from Plaint-Chant, 1923

#57 cellmatrix


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Posted 02 June 2013 - 02:00

What Do People Say To You When You Whip Out That Pen?


when I tell people I am going to whip something out, they usually breath a sigh of relief when they see its only a fountain pen.


#58 circlepattern



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Posted 02 June 2013 - 03:15

Interesting topic, I had a friend that said something like "Wow, quill pen, do you have to dip this thing?" then she proceed to borrowing it and using it with the feeder on top and the metal on bottom and saying "This is really scratchy!". 


After all that I take my pen back in case they decide to something that will break it.

#59 Blade Runner

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 03:33

Usually nothing.

#60 sethg2112


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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:38

I am in High School, so I do get a whole bunch of weird reactions.


For such a nice town I live in, (most people are 2%+ financially), I was shocked.


I had a TEACHER say to me, "That's a mad old pen. Why would anyone want to use that?" While twirling his bic stic.


My pen? A Lamy Safari.


I don't get this world.

Life is only the sum of your experiences. Make the best of them.

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