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Why do people use Ballpoint pens ?


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#21 jhsiao

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:43

I wonder if the practice of exchanging digits by writing telephone numbers on each others' palms was nonexistent prior to the arrival of the ballpoint.

"Wow, you're happy."
"Yeah, I just met the perfect woman. I think she's my soulmate!"
"Gee, you're really into her. So, you gonna call her tomorrow?"
"Yeah as soon as I...Auugh! Why did I grab that cold beer glass?!? Is that an 8? Or a 6?? Is that a 9?!?"

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#22 Russ

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:47

People who know that FP's exist yet continue to use BP's often (mistakenly) believe that FP's are a fiscal luxury as well as too difficult to use. Thus the conversion process. Once they are led to appreciate FP's, cost soon becomes relative.



#23 Steven

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:32

Because you can't use a fountain pen in space or underwater (Fisher Space Pen).

The BIC Atlantis and Zebra Z-Grip pens are smoother than 99 percent of anything on the market. The inks flow free and the ball rolls as smooth as a well oiled ball bearing.

They are cheaper than dirt.

You can get them with erasable ink that in time becomes permanent. Although the quality of the writing experience with these erasable inks are the worst on the planet.

They take no thought what so ever and no one obsesses over them so more work gets done and they do not create marital problems.

They come in a lot more shapes, sizes, and colors than fountain pens do.

The cheap ones write as good as the expensive ones.

There is no tooth or flex to a ball point and no need for Richard Binder and others to smooth and or adjust the nib.

For the most part if the BP is not to your liking you just dump it and get a different one.

You have no compunction giving them away. I actually buy them printed with my name, phone and email address on them and hand them out instead of personal business cards.

They write every bit as good as a fountain pen (sacrilege).

You can keep them in the glove compartment of your car for when you need to take the plate number of the guy that just hit you.

They are made with cheep precious resigns.

Real men us pencils.


Avatar painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825 - 1905) titled La leçon difficile (The difficult lesson)


#24 Deirdre

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 06:38

I use them for addressing Tyvek envelopes.
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#25 penpimperLV

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:11

Personally, I love my Monteverde BP. I'm very happy with it, plus I won it, which makes it even more awesome. thumbup.gif

I prefer RBs because of the smoother line. I would carry an FP with me once I find the right one. And, if the occasion called for it, you could use it as a weapon. I watched the movie Casino last night and thought, "Wow, I never thought of that!" roflmho.gif

#26 scribblescrabble

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 16:08

I love my fountain pens and there are several more I'd like to get. But, usually I carry a ballpoint with me because I was taught by my dad that it is always good to have a pen with you (and yes, I still carry a handkerchief too).

I usually carry a Parker Jotter (with a Fine Point refill replacing the standard Medium Point). I usually throw it in my left hip pocket--something that is extremely dangerous to do with a Fountain Pen.

I use it to sign credit card receipts, take notes, etc. I love Parker Jotters and the refills are wonderful (they don't have the "webbing" issue of leaving ink trails).

A few years ago, one of my best friends gave me a Waterman Expert Ball Point (With my name engraved on it) as a gift for being in (and playing trumpet in) his wedding. Whenever I wear a shirt that has a pocket, that Waterman goes in it.

I'd like to put my Fountain Pens in my shirt pockets, but I'm too scared. My Noodler's Bullet-proof Black has the potential to kill my shirts and I like my shirts. Also, it gives me a great excuse to find some nice leather pen cases to carry in my business case.

Like other have said...I love pens. I love pens of all kinds.

ScribbleScrabble
ScribbleScrabble: Because My Handwriting is Just That Bad!
The Fountain Pen: An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

I Write With:

An assortment of Parker "51"s and Levenger True Writers;
Bexley Corona (Summer Sunset); TWSBI (Diamond 540 Clear Demonstrator);
Laban Meno (Celebration Shell); Esterbrook (Black with 2556-Fine Writing Nib)


#27 Robert Hughes

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 16:25

QUOTE(jhsiao @ Mar 12 2008, 11:43 PM) View Post
"Yeah, I just met the perfect woman. I think she's my soulmate!"
"Gee, you're really into her. So, you gonna call her tomorrow?"
"Yeah as soon as I...Auugh! Why did I grab that cold beer glass?!? Is that an 8? Or a 6?? Is that a 9?!?"

smile.gif

I suppose someone who doesn't know their 6's from their 9's isn't ready for that soulmate, anyhow...

The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.

~ Bernard Shaw.

#28 Rapt

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 17:54

I use my Fisher space pen ballpoint for where FP won't work.... Or for people who can't handle a FP...

Marking wood/plastic/sandpaper/steel... Writing on vertical or overhead surfaces, wet surfaces...

All those places were nothing else works.

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#29 Rapt

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 17:55

QUOTE(jhsiao @ Mar 13 2008, 12:43 AM) View Post
I wonder if the practice of exchanging digits by writing telephone numbers on each others' palms was nonexistent prior to the arrival of the ballpoint.

"Wow, you're happy."
"Yeah, I just met the perfect woman. I think she's my soulmate!"
"Gee, you're really into her. So, you gonna call her tomorrow?"
"Yeah as soon as I...Auugh! Why did I grab that cold beer glass?!? Is that an 8? Or a 6?? Is that a 9?!?"

smile.gif


Before that you wrote on your cuffs.

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For Sale:
Saving for: Edison Pearl
In my dreams: Nakaya Piccolo, custom colour/pattern
In transit:

#30 gregoron

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 18:54

I use it for work when I need to jot down notes quickly and fill in forms on glossy paper. I still prefer fountain pens though.

The ballpoint pen I do use now is a Pilot Better Retractable black fine point. I like fine or extra fine lines - like my Esterbrook & Pelikan fp fine points. The Pilot BR fine has a nice reddish-black color and even writes on plastic. It's smooth and it doesn't skip, but it does leave some blotches, which is reminiscent of some of my fp's. I've tried other ballpoints also:

- Pilot Center of Gravity (black ink is really dark but chalky),
- Schneider (archival ink, but not as black or smooth as Pilot's),
- Ballografs (nice pens but refills are not as dark or smooth),
- Parker Jotters (barrels are to slippery for me),
- Caran D'Ache Metal X (the clip is annoying at times), etc.

Yet, I still come back to this Pilot BR fine. Another ballpoint I use is a vintage Sheaffer with the reminder clip. I like its black fine point refill because it's more of a blue-black.
You are what you write
More than you are what you say
But, do more than write


(my haiku)


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#31 Brerarnold

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 22:17

Convenience. Price. Convenience. Availability. And convenience.

I am willing to put up with some fooling about because I love my fountain pens. I enjoy the act of writing itself, and a FP makes it more enjoyable to me.

But let's be honest. When BPs first came out, and everyone but everyone was fully familiar with the FP, why do you think they switched? It wasn't ignorance. Mainly it was convenience. And price. Then, as BPs became ubiquitous, availability (we had a BP dispenser in my high school. Can't imagine a FP dispenser. Even had the school mascot on the side. 25 cents. Wrote like a champ for about 2 weeks. Try that with a FP!)

I rarely use a BP. But a good rollerball, now, that's another question. And the reason why I have preferred rollerballs to BPs ever since they came out, is because the ink is more like a FP. Yet you can press through 3 copies like a BP if need be. Takes more pressure than a FP, but less than a BP. Sweet.

I carry a FP in shirt pocket or clipped to placket everywhere I go. Sometimes more than one. But somewhere, in briefcase or pack or duffel bag, somewhere there is a RB on the ready should the need arise.

#32 Metric

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 22:24

I suspect that the reason is very similar to the reason people buy and use automatic transmission cars.
The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise. -- Tacitus

#33 skybird

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 23:29

QUOTE(Metric @ Mar 14 2008, 09:24 AM) View Post
I suspect that the reason is very similar to the reason people buy and use automatic transmission cars.

Hey - I only have two feet - why 3 pedals?
Auto is an expensive option and sophisticated. Likewise Fountain pens.
Ballpens are just plain (Potty Mouth).
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#34 Blade Runner

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 23:49

QUOTE(Brerarnold @ Mar 13 2008, 06:17 PM) View Post
Convenience. Price. Convenience. Availability. And convenience.

I am willing to put up with some fooling about because I love my fountain pens. I enjoy the act of writing itself, and a FP makes it more enjoyable to me.

But let's be honest. When BPs first came out, and everyone but everyone was fully familiar with the FP, why do you think they switched? It wasn't ignorance. Mainly it was convenience. And price.


Your comment reminded me of another obvious reason why people use bps: their quality control is much higher than that of fps as we all too sadly know. If my first fp was a scratchy, ink starved, leaky instrument, do you think I would have searched for someone to make it right or bought another? I would have thrown it in the trash and picked up a bp. I'm lucky my first fp was a beautiful writing Parker 51.

#35 Garageboy

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 04:12

Cheap, reliable, common, no maintenance, etc

My go to is the UniBall Jetstream. I tried to like the BIC atlantis, but the ball doesnt flow/roll easily enough

Edited by Garageboy, 14 March 2008 - 04:34.


#36 JayLo

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 13:57

Convenience, availability. The act of writing devoid of art lends itself to the commoditized ballpoint.

#37 Sam P.

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 14:26

From my experience, price. Who would buy a $100 fountain pen (approximate Philippine price) when $0.50 ballpens exist? In fact, in my own class, everyone sees fountain pens as a luxury.
And, availability. Here, it's hard to find a fountain pen; and ballpens are sold on the sidewalks.

Edited by sammy21290, 14 March 2008 - 14:29.

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#38 Tweel

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 05:19

There's been some mention of writing on odd materials, and I'd just like to toss in a couple of odd Pilot liquid rollers I've found useful.

The PermaBall will (as designed) write on seemingly anything -- wood, metal, plastic, glass, etc. It's supposed to be waterproof, lightfast, acid-free and archival, etc. I know that on metal plant tags, it's stood up to US Midwestern weather through the past summer, fall, and winter, and that it can take at least some abrasion. I don't know what the ink(?) is based on, but it seems like some sort of synthetic lacquer. It's actually fairly pleasant to write with -- very fluid and very, very black.

Also, I rarely use an actual paste-ink ballpoint, and most of the random things I've tried have choked on NCR-style carbonless copies, apparently due to chemical reaction. E.g. Noodler's black instantly turned to a solid in the nib-slit of a FP (that was very charming!..), and the ink started blibbering uncontrollably from the tip of a Pentel EnerGel. On the other hand, a Pilot V-Ball behaves completely normally. BTW, the original V-Ball is one of my favorite pens, fountain or not -- it's a bummer they're not sold in the US anymore.

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fpn_1375035941__postcard_swap.png * * * "Don't neglect to write me several times from different places when you may."
-- John Purdue (1863)

 


#39 RoseHawke

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 14:56

Because most people have the aesthetic sense of an avocado. Just look at some of the furniture listings on Craigslist for verification of that observation.
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#40 Mescof1

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 15:09

Every writing implement I use, including fountain pens, is chosen carefully and for a reason. Although fountain pens are and have always been my favorite I have no shame in using a ballpoint.

1. Pencils - must be Dixon Ticonderoga #2; great erasure
2. Ballpoint - Montblanc with blue Fisher refill: most comfortable ball I've ever written with and I like the ink. When I bought mine in 1994 it was only a hundred bucks.
3. Gel - Pilot G2 07 - Blue Ink. Signing checks and punching through multi- part forms
4. Papermate Flair Black - best ever for writing music; the mushier the tip the better.

Back to the original question - the ballpoint's refill will last longer than any other refill; if you loose a cheap one, so what; two or three are lying around in the car.

I carry a daybook to remind me of things I have to do. Several years ago the paper was good and didn't bleed, but now they've cheapened the paper so anything other than a pencil or ballpoint will bleed through.

I don't particularly like ballpoints, but sometimes practicality takes precedent.






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