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For What Is French Ruled Notepaper Used?


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#1 Headache Corporation (TM)

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 19:16

Howdy folks,

This may sound like a dumb question, but I've seen "French Ruled" notebooks before and I'm unsure of how they are supposed to be used. Clairefontaine makes them, of course, and they look almost like a tiny spreadsheet layout, but the spaces are too small to really write in. Is there a special use for these I'm unaware of? Do French school children go off to school with these?

Perhaps some Francophiles on the boards can answer these questions, for which I'm really curious about.

Thank you,
David.


P.S. Pendemonium shows a close-up example of "French Rule" on their web page for Clairefontaine, if you scroll down a bit:

http://www.pendemoni...#clairefontaine


No affiliation, of course.

[edited for typo]

Edited by Headache Corporation (TM), 21 April 2007 - 19:18.


#2 Headache Corporation (TM)

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 19:22

And how come this new software won't let me capitalize "French" in the title? unsure.gif

#3 antigone

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 20:23

AFAIK its just regular writing paper. I'm using it for note taking, writing on every second line. It looks very neat, go and try it!

#4 Titivillus

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Posted 21 April 2007 - 22:03

QUOTE(Headache Corporation (TM) @ Apr 21 2007, 02:22 PM) View Post
And how come this new software won't let me capitalize "French" in the title? unsure.gif



I just did a test thread and French can be capitalized rolleyes.gif so I edited the topic title to show both capitals.


Kurt

Edited by Tytyvyllus, 21 April 2007 - 22:05.


#5 Headache Corporation (TM)

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 05:13

QUOTE(Tytyvyllus @ Apr 21 2007, 10:03 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Headache Corporation (TM) @ Apr 21 2007, 02:22 PM) View Post
And how come this new software won't let me capitalize "French" in the title? unsure.gif



I just did a test thread and French can be capitalized rolleyes.gif so I edited the topic title to show both capitals.


Kurt



Thanks Tytyvyllus! I tried it 3 times and it wouldn't stick. Not exactly a NooB; I don't know what was going on with that. doh.gif I just didn't want to offend anyone's national identity, especially since the French make such lovely paper.

#6 inkysmudges

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 06:22

smile.gif Antigone is correct, it's what the French use as regular notepaper. At certain times of year, especially when kids are starting the school year or coming back from one of the vacations, it's almost impossible to find "regular" ruled paper like we use in North America.

We once asked about it and the sales person said that "only Americans" use lined paper, that the French use the grid paper in school and for them from then on it's "normal" paper. Clearly this person was somewhat prone to over-generalizations but the point remains that for the French the "grid" paper is the norm.

#7 antigone

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 12:45

I've also read french kids'd write in purple ink (think I read it somewhere on J. Herbin's HP?) or that they used to write in purple in Napoleon's times... maybe inkysmudges or some french forum member can confirm this?
France looks like a real fun place to go to school at laugh.gif

#8 inkysmudges

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 13:13

I don't know what they do these days but I've seen French kid's schoolbooks from the 50s and indeed, they used the deepest purple ink I've ever seen. Of course it may have deepened colour over the years but, wow, nice ink!

Also, FWIW, back in those days they used dip pens. Their handwriting skills were compulsory and was really quite something. From what we've been able to gather public school for the French is a lot more like what North Americans would expect from a private school education: strict, thorough, disciplinarian and, generally it seems, rather traumatic.

These days the school supplies stores carry literally hundreds of different FP styles, most less than $20.

#9 jm_meessen

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 18:54

QUOTE(inkysmudges @ Apr 22 2007, 06:22 AM) View Post
smile.gif ... but the point remains that for the French the "grid" paper is the norm.


I think it comes that since the third republic, the french school system is mainly governement run ("école publique"), so the paper (and ink) was supplied for and standardized (part of the century long french uniformization effort). The format was probably designed to help pupils to learn to write. It is also called Séyès (maybe the name of the inventor or the minister that imposed it). It is also the same reason why also traditional french school ink has this particular colour. And as every kid in France used it in school they continue to use it later. And passed from generation to generation

Note that school ruling to learn to write is different (but always widely distributed) in Belgium or Germany.

Jmm

#10 jm_meessen

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 20:20

Additional information:
The format of the so-called french ruling was patented in 1892 by a book/stationary seller of the city of Pontoise and taken as standard for french schools.

For more information see this document (sorry in french) http://www.inrp.fr/i...ue_alphabet.pdf

Jmm


#11 inkysmudges

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 22:27

Great info JM, thank you.

#12 HDoug

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 23:19

QUOTE(jm_meessen @ Apr 23 2007, 08:54 AM) View Post
QUOTE(inkysmudges @ Apr 22 2007, 06:22 AM) View Post
smile.gif ... but the point remains that for the French the "grid" paper is the norm.


I think it comes that since the third republic, the french school system is mainly governement run ("école publique"), so the paper (and ink) was supplied for and standardized (part of the century long french uniformization effort). The format was probably designed to help pupils to learn to write. It is also called Séyès (maybe the name of the inventor or the minister that imposed it). It is also the same reason why also traditional french school ink has this particular colour. And as every kid in France used it in school they continue to use it later. And passed from generation to generation

Note that school ruling to learn to write is different (but always widely distributed) in Belgium or Germany.

Jmm


Thanks for the link! It has such wonderful historical and contemporary examples of handwriting in it that I saved the document.

Also, I wanted to mention that I recall seeing someone posting examples of how "French ruling" actually is used -- I though it was a posting by our own JJ Harvey -- but I couldn't find it. I'll post a link if I find it...

Doug


#13 inkysmudges

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Posted 23 April 2007 - 23:39

It's not uncommon for some shop owners in Paris, particularly those who have specialty boutiques, to include a bit of history about themselves in their shop windows, including their school books!

There's one place in particular that I'm thinking of where his 6th or (8th?) grade schoolbooks have been in the sun long enough that the ink of the grids has almost completely faded away but the writing ink remains strong and colourful. And very nice handwriting it is too, quite like that shown in JM's pdf link.

If the opportunity presents itself I'll take a pic of M. Chaudun's window display and post it here.

edit: spelling.

Edited by inkysmudges, 23 April 2007 - 23:40.


#14 N. McKay

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 01:01

It's an interesting pattern -- almost like having tab stops on your writing paper.

#15 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 14:05

QUOTE(N. McKay @ Apr 23 2007, 09:01 PM) View Post
It's an interesting pattern -- almost like having tab stops on your writing paper.


This is exactly what the vertical lines are used for.


In France, there are rules on how to write an essay, not only about style but also form.


Introduction, Conclusion and main paragraph are supposed to be indented almost at the middle of the page.
Two lines or one line need to be left blank between those 3 parts.
Subparagraphs need to be indented as well.


The horizontal lines are handwriting guides, minuscules (regular letters) must be the size of the space between the first dark blue and the first light blue line. b,d,l,h must stop at the second light blue line, and g,q,j must stop at the second light blue line under the dark blue line.

Majuscules (capital letters) stop at the third light blue line.

Seyes ruling with Herbin either Violette Pensee or Poussiere de Lune was used by children and people until the mid 50's.


At that time, the Bic started to replace fountain pen writing for business purpose, it probably had a lot to do with carbon copies.
In France, most ballpoints, but the yellow and clear Bic, used to be refillable. Parker had a nice market for it's Jotter, the prefered pen/pencil set gift, especially for women.


Waterman Florida Blue and all other erasable blue inks were used in school when the ink eradicator was introduced to the marketplace in the late 60's, early 70's.

In class, we were not allowed to switch from Bic to fountain pen until we were in the 5th grade but I used my first fountain pen in the 4th grade. I could not believe the difference a smooth writing fountain pen with a comfortable girth could make.


My handwriting has always been bigger than the "normal" french handwriting and I always threw the size convention out the window, especially when I had to transcribe a 4 to 6 pages essay, between midnite and 1am, due the next day.

Edited by Anne-Sophie, 09 May 2007 - 17:29.

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#16 Elaine

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 14:29

Thanks Anne-Sophie! That's the info I've been looking for. Ok, so what are the spaces at the top and bottom used for? (the ones without horizontal lines). Are they just margins? They make me want to do some kind of chart biggrin.gif



#17 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 17:23

QUOTE(Elaine @ May 9 2007, 10:29 AM) View Post
Thanks Anne-Sophie! That's the info I've been looking for. Ok, so what are the spaces at the top and bottom used for? (the ones without horizontal lines). Are they just margins? They make me want to do some kind of chart biggrin.gif



I refer to those as "fear" margins.


The top right or left was/is used to mark the essay or test. The margins was/is used for the teacher's comments, all in red or bright ink.

The more comments and editorial signs the lower the grade and the more chance I had to get grounded which meant, no TV, no French Pastries and no allowance but plenty of extra math lessons and chores on my list hence "the fear margin".

LoL


In history lessons we were allowed to use the margin and a double A4 page to make timelines.

I believe the upper margins were used for time and the left margin for events, king's names, inventions, artists and cultural name of the era.

Spreadsheet like documents such as the one above for history was also used in geography, history of litterature or civic studies.


In high school, all mathematical graphs were done on graph paper that looked like velum.

Geometry classes, in the lower grades, were written with square patterned paper from a Rhodia Pad.

We used the square to draw geometric figures and to cut them out to form cubes, cones etc...

Because Rhodia paper was so expensive, I tried to find a cheaper square lined paper, to no avail.
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#18 Elaine

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 20:35

Wow, thank you Anne-Sophie. It's great to get a glimpse at another culture's schooling.

#19 Anne-Sophie

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 02:07

QUOTE(Elaine @ May 9 2007, 04:35 PM) View Post
Wow, thank you Anne-Sophie. It's great to get a glimpse at another culture's schooling.


Believe me you only want a glimpse smile.gif

The good thing about all those rules is that it forms your mind to find a way to break them.

For example, I brought a multicolor ballpoint (similar to one that is available at The Container Store) to class.
It was, of course, strictly forbiden, we were only allowed to write in those ugly thin yellow Bic and in blue.

The teacher almost took it but I talked her out of it by blushing, putting my head down and say I'm sorry.

At lunch, my pen was back home and the very same evening I did my homework with the gorgeous Poussiere de Lune color, a nice bordeaux.

The next day, the teacher was not happy when she was correcting my homework but she could not press the subject too much because burgundy, nor other bright color were, in theory, forbidden.

Red, the teacher correcting color was the forbidden color.
Is it fair for an intelligent and family oriented mammal to be separated from his/her family and spend his/her life starved in a concrete jail?

#20 adair

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 03:21

This has been a fascinating thread. Thanks, Anne-Sophie! I know that Clairfontaine makes notebooks that are French ruled, but what about pads or loose paper thus ruled? I haven't seen it on any website. French ruled certainly improves handwriting and creates a very classical-looking regularity.




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