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Why do people use Ballpoint pens ?


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#1 kavanagh

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 00:10

Dear Colleagues,

I cannot understand why people use ballpoint pens.

My first pen by complete accident was a very cheap $2 US Dollars 'Woolworths' Fountain Pen. I did not think using it would be a big deal......but after the first day..........I was hooked. thumbup.gif

The effortless wet lines and the way the nib glided across paper.....it made writing a pleasure instead of a chore - which is why i cannot understand why people use 'Ballpoint' pens - they require effort and produce vacuous, boring lettering headsmack.gif

After that....my inclination to all things 'Fountain Pen' grew......the first thing I would notice when going in to a room would be......not the persons clothes or mannerisms.....but if they used a fountain pen - and which one. I remember one incident in Court when I was supposed to be taking notes.......I noticed the Solicitor behind me using a Sheaffer Imperial IV....I then looked at the handwriting - it was a medium nib.......I then noticed that one of the Barristers was using a Mont Blanc Boheme Fountain Pen.........this enthusiasm has never left me!. rolleyes.gif

I remember once when a lawyer took out a MB 146 Fountain Pen.......I was the only one who commented......." I like your MB 146 Fountain Pen ".....it put a smile on his face.

Can someone provide me with a rational reason - why do people still use ballpoint pens..??

kavanagh

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#2 Shangas

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 00:12

I don't know. Personally I think they're all insane. Why would you use a pen that creates more problems than it solves? It skips, it digs trenches into the paper, it requires two or three times more effort and gets half the amount done...*sigh*


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#3 jhsiao

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 00:56

Because you can lend most ballpoints to someone without caring whether they drop it on the marble floor, lose it, yank on the cap, or knaw on the end.

Because ballpoints don't have to be held "exactly so" for writing.

Because sometimes a note on a post-it-note to call back doesn't require flowing cursive.

Because you don't have to think about whether that note in your pocket is written with Noodlers during a rainstorm.

And because there will always be some folks that care more about the ends than the means.


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Highest Convenience ----------------------------------------> Highest Writing "Ritual"
Ballpoints -> Rollerballs -> Cartridge FP -> Converter FP -> Other FP -> Dip Pens





#4 Pjake

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 00:59

kavanagh...

I truley do love my fountain pens....but I love my BP's too (of course I have chosen wisely... a CdA, and a Visconti WS coming soon). For me it's a question of pace in the place.

To me, the greatest virtue of a fountain pen other than the quality of the writing experience, the smoothness of nib on paper, the effortless gliding of ink through the nib....and writing with an instrument that is art in of itself.....and the deliberate pace of putting thought on paper.

The work place at times, due to pace (or multi tiered froms), does not permit the indulgence.... I think of it as bath vs. shower....sometimes you've just gotta get up ...jump in the shower...do a quick shave and off you go.

Although my first preference is my FP......circumstances do at time dictate a BP (or RB). Why not make the best of it and find a BP or RB that gives you smile...they're not evil...just necessary sometimes..

Peter

Edited by Pjake, 13 March 2008 - 01:08.


#5 ilubiano

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:10

QUOTE(Pjake @ Mar 12 2008, 05:59 PM)  
kavanagh...

I truley do love my fountain pens....but I love my BP's too (of course I have chosen wisely... a CdA, and a Visconti WS coming soon). For me it's a question of pace in the place.

To me, the greatest virtue of a fountain pen other than the quality of the wrting experience, the smoothness of nib on paper, the effortless gliding of ink through the nib....and writing with an instrument that is art in of itself.....and the deliberate pace of putting thought on paper.

The work place at times, due to pace (or multi tiered froms), does not permit the indulgence.... I think of it as bath vs. shower....sometimes you've just gotta get up ...jump in the shower...do a quick shave and off you go.

Although my first preference is my FP......circumstances do at time dictate a BP (or RB). Why not make the best of it and find a BP or RB that gives you smile...they're not evil...just necessary sometimes..

Peter


This is exactly it. The fountain pen, marvelous tool though it is, is not always the right tool at the right time. Sometimes, you just have to use a ballpoint, or a rollerball. As much as I love my fountain pens, I learned the hard way that they're not fit for everything. If you feel like you dislike ballpoints enough to bring an FP into a chem lab, by all means, you are free to, but I learned the hard way by destroying a nib there and won't ever again. thumbup.gif
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#6 Robert Hughes

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:11

QUOTE
...why do people still use ballpoint pens?

Uh, they're cheap. They're everywhere. They can sit around for months and be expected to start writing again. They're indestructable. Their ink is waterproof. They're cheaper than cheap - they're free as marketing swag at any hotel or office building.

But you want a rational reason, so here it is - they got that cute clickey-clickey thingy in em that you can operate in boring meetings and drive your coworkers bonkers with. rolleyes.gif


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#7 Blade Runner

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:35

I love Fps, and fps have advantages, but Bps defintely have advantages too -

Writing through triplicate forms.

Except for the vanishing point, the extra time to unscrew or even pull off a cap is often too cumbersome when I'm in a rush or when you only have one hand available.

You can write on any cheap paper without caring about your nib getting clogged with fibers.

You don't have to deal with long ink drying times on certain glossy papers.

There is no ink bleeding on poorly sized paper.

Bp ink is much more water resistant.

You can go for much longer on a bp refill.

There's no added care about how much pressure you're applying, the angle of the nib, you can toss it about without discharging ink; ie it's carefree, a big advantage for me when rushed.

On a long trip bp refills are easier to pack than bottled ink (I don't use carts)

When climbing at high altitude bps don't leak like most fps due to pressure changes.

#8 dapv

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:35

Why BPs ... because I like pens and pencils ... all of them. Don't know why ... don't care. The more the better. And, yes ... I would and have bought expensive BPs.
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#9 PAKMAN

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:37

I think that we may be a little biased on this issue. Most folks these days don't even know that fountain pens exist. They use what they know, and even if they do know about fountain pens they think of them as playthings of the rich and extravagant. People where I work use what is free, and wouldn't even think of paying for their own pen or ink or paper. Some folks have truly given up writing alltogether, every thing is on the computer. The extent of their writing is scriching a note on a postit.

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#10 asexton

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:40

QUOTE(Robert Hughes @ Mar 12 2008, 09:11 PM)  
QUOTE
...why do people still use ballpoint pens?

But you want a rational reason, so here it is - they got that cute clickey-clickey thingy in em that you can operate in boring meetings and drive your coworkers bonkers with. rolleyes.gif


If you want the click, buy a Vanishing Point. Apart from that, our society has created things called carbon copy forms. Unless the fountain pen ink happens to bleed through three layers of paper (it doesn't), then a ballpoint is required. Also, some companies love to treat their paper with awful chemicals that repel ink like water on oil. The "they are free and everywhere" argument is also pertinent. I do have one or two ballpoints in my collection, but I do not actively seek them. A Visconti Opera Club in Typhoon Blue fountain pen will always trump its little brother, the ballpoint, even though they look alike.

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#11 Bela

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:42

I used ballpoint pens for all the reasons mentioned above and because they're always ready for use and I don't have to find a place to put the cap (I only buy ballpoint pens that go click click): I can just pick up the pen and write.

I used my FPs in less hurried circumstances.

#12 sumgaikid

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:43

I use them at work sometimes only because:
-my FP of the day just ran out of ink
-my handwriting is sometimes better w/ a ballpoint

Which brings me to my next point--there is on ebay at the moment a rare Omas ballpoint in a rare color going for a "buy it now" for $249.00!

Would you buy it? At this point(no pun intended)I think I'd have a hard time getting up the scratch for it.... laugh.gif
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#13 tulipa

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:55

I actually asked my boss this question a couple of months ago. He told me that he writes very hard and tends to have the nib stayed on the paper instead of lifting it up when he thinks in the middle of writing. It then ends up having a blob of ink on the paper. So he prefers to use ballpoint pen.

#14 asamsky

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:09

I think most people use ballpoints because everyone around them uses them. I don't think there's much thought involved - it's what Bourdieu called a "habitus," and what normal people might call a habit. Many, many people simply don't think about their writing instruments and reach for whatever is handy. We tend to put a great deal of thought into what we write with and I think this gives us a skewed insight into how most people choose their pens (if most people choose their pens at all). Where fountain pen people see an extremely detailed world full of choices, most people probably just see pens as an undifferentiated mass.

Edited by asamsky, 13 March 2008 - 02:09.


#15 LedZepGirl

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:14

Why do people like a lot of the dumb things that are so popular? Because everyone else does and a good share of people all like to be the same.
I'd rather spend my money on pens instead of shoes and handbags.

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#16 LedZepGirl

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:19

QUOTE(ilubiano @ Mar 12 2008, 09:10 PM)  
QUOTE(Pjake @ Mar 12 2008, 05:59 PM)  
kavanagh...

I truley do love my fountain pens....but I love my BP's too (of course I have chosen wisely... a CdA, and a Visconti WS coming soon). For me it's a question of pace in the place.

To me, the greatest virtue of a fountain pen other than the quality of the wrting experience, the smoothness of nib on paper, the effortless gliding of ink through the nib....and writing with an instrument that is art in of itself.....and the deliberate pace of putting thought on paper.

The work place at times, due to pace (or multi tiered froms), does not permit the indulgence.... I think of it as bath vs. shower....sometimes you've just gotta get up ...jump in the shower...do a quick shave and off you go.

Although my first preference is my FP......circumstances do at time dictate a BP (or RB). Why not make the best of it and find a BP or RB that gives you smile...they're not evil...just necessary sometimes..

Peter


This is exactly it. The fountain pen, marvelous tool though it is, is not always the right tool at the right time. Sometimes, you just have to use a ballpoint, or a rollerball. As much as I love my fountain pens, I learned the hard way that they're not fit for everything. If you feel like you dislike ballpoints enough to bring an FP into a chem lab, by all means, you are free to, but I learned the hard way by destroying a nib there and won't ever again. thumbup.gif


I bring my Parker 21 to lab and so far I've had no problems, but then again I keep it in the slot in the table where you can put books when I'm not using it and I always wash my hands when I get something on them because you never know what it might react with.

I'd rather spend my money on pens instead of shoes and handbags.

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#17 Paddler

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:30

Sometimes you find a writing job where a fountain pen just won't work well. In these instances, a BP is just the ticket:

Marking freezer bags.

Marking lumber.

Center punch for wood.

Clean the ink out of a metal refill and knock out the ball and you have a nice blowpipe for directing a flame for heating small parts.

A Parker refill makes a screamin' rocket motor.



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#18 amper

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:50

Sorry, but the Bic Cristal is one of the finest writing instruments ever invented by man. A medium blue Bic Cristal is a constant companion for me, right along with my Pelikan M800.

Fountain pens are notoriously bad at signing thermal paper credit card receipts.

What I want to know is, why do people use rollerballs? They have all the worst properties of both fountain pens and ballpoints, and none of the advantages of either. I'm so happy to have discovered the Schmidt ballpoint replacement for rollerball refills. Now I can use a pen with a real cap to sign credit card receipts. In my case, this is a Graf von Faber-Castell rhodium Guilloche with a Schmidt medium blue rollerball-sized ballpoint refill. It's absolutely perfect wherever a fountain pen fails, and the writing quality is very, very close to a Bic Cristal (except for, of course, the weight and balance).
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#19 Shelley

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:59

because when I have prisoners sign that they have read the indictment I want to a) get my pen back in good condion, and cool.gif dont want them to stab someone and loose the pen as an exhibit-so if they do those things with a cheap BP fine, but not my good FP's.
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#20 HDoug

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 03:04

I like to read in the tub. I like to take notes when I read. So I have a Rite in the Rain waterproof notepad, and a Rite in the Rain ballpoint that will write on wet surfaces (completely underwater too). I haven't tested the claim that it will write underwater AND upside down, but my tub isn't that deep anyway. But anyway, that's about my only reason to write with a ballpen.

Doug






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