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Why do people use Ballpoint pens ?


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#41 Robert Hughes

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 15:21

QUOTE(Metric @ Mar 13 2008, 05:24 PM) View Post
I suspect that the reason is very similar to the reason people buy and use automatic transmission cars.

I was at the Minneapolis Auto Show the other day (working, helping in setup) and passed by the Ford Truck display where they had a truck automatic transmission opened up. What an amazing machine! It is a miracle of modern invention, a physical embodiment of the phrase, "We do the work so you won't have to". Of course, my car is manual, I'm saving the Planet rolleyes.gif - it's one of those Things White People Like - to brag about not owning an auto transmission - or a ballpoint pen... roflmho.gif

Edited by Robert Hughes, 15 March 2008 - 15:24.

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#42 bujalino

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 15:31

I have a hunch that business brought about the ballpoint and popularized it for a variety o reasons. One of the reasons I believe the business community adopted the pen was carbon copy forms. I sometimes have forms that are making 4 or 5 copies when writing on the cover page. The fountain pen is a much more relaxed writing experience and may not len itself to such pressure.

The other obvious ones have been stated in previous posts; cheap - stores well for long periods and so on

I have collected pens for a short 5 years and only recently (5 months ago) converted my daily business writings to only fountain pen. It took me a long time to ease up the pressure from ballpoint writing to gliding along with a fountain pen. Being left handed also delayed the switch but I'm glad to be here with fountain pens exclusively.

Interestingly enough I now see an expensive ballpoint to be like a $40,000 custom Ford Escort. It may look and run very well but something just doesn't feel right.

Best Regards,

Bujalino


#43 georges zaslavsky

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 05:42

Ball points are cheap, easy of use, they are disposable and built in larger quantities they are economical. But everyone who writes with a fp has much better writing than a person who writes with a bic. A bic is commonplace,impersonal and with no real value.The ball points write through carbon copies something old sheaffers lifetime manifold and parker 51s and parker vacumatic extra firm nibs can do and be as good as a ball point.
Comparing a ball point to a fp is like comparing a quartz watch to a mechanical watch.

Edited by georges zaslavsky, 01 November 2009 - 05:42.

Pens are like watches , once you start a collection, you can hardly go back. And pens like all fine luxury items do improve with time

#44 Silvermink

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 05:58

They're lower-maintenance, and they're cheap enough that if you lose one, it's no big deal. I carry a Fisher Space Pen around in my jacket pocket because it'll write on anything in any position and I find having a fountain pen jostling around in my jacket pocket's a good recipe for a cap full of ink.

The writing feel of a ballpoint is awful, though. I can feel my wrist threatening to revolt whenever I write with one.

Edited by Silvermink, 01 November 2009 - 05:59.

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#45 tanburi

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 06:03

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.



Exactly.
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#46 alvarez57

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 06:03

Besides for all the above mentioned reasons, BP also exist to increase hand surgeons' revenue ;)

Edited by alvarez57, 01 November 2009 - 06:04.

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#47 Kabe

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 06:48

For 95 percent of people, writing is meaningless. It's in the same level of calculus and organic chemistry: something you had to know for a test in school, and then forget. Outside of work, they wish they didn't have to put two letters together. Shopping lists are exhausting. So, FPs are just the embellishment of the slavery of school-learning.
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#48 MKim56

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 09:35

Ballpoint pens are great for industrial designing. For instance, most car designers use ballpoints
as their primary sketching tools. Yes, a cheap and disposable BIC ballpoint pen gave birth to that sexy little Italian pony you see crusing down in Laguna Beach.

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.


That's a little harsh. Kind of like looking down on a person for wearing a nice pair of jeans and shirt instead of donning a tailored suit from Savile Row.

#49 I am not a number

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 11:10

That's a little harsh. Kind of like looking down on a person for wearing a nice pair of jeans and shirt instead of donning a tailored suit from Savile Row.

I'm in agreement with you.

Welcome to the FPN and have some extra points for knowing the correct spelling of "Savile Row".
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#50 eric47

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 11:22

Dear Colleagues,

I cannot understand why people use ballpoint pens.

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


Because sometimes it's the right tool for the job?!? No use jumping through hoops to use a FP when a BP does a better or equal job without the fuss, e.g. thermal paper, chemical treated paper, carbons, envelopes, glossy paper, cardboard, etc.

I could use a slotted screwdriver on a Philips head screw, but I find it much easier to use Philips head screwdrivers.

Edited by eric47, 01 November 2009 - 11:24.

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#51 SimonJamesLucas

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 11:57

I suppose its a cost and convenience thing but convenient isn´t always best. Bottle conditioned beer is better than filtered and gassed, wet shavers produce a better shave than electrics, solid wood furniture is more durable and far nicer than veneered chipboard, I could go on. Some people simply don't care and I suppose it would be a very boring world if we were all the same. However I can totally understand the asking of this question (many times) when one is in the know about fountain pens. Mind you, I have a ballpoint somewhere, I think, well I used to.......

#52 LapsangS

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 14:13

Ballpoints are refill holders. Some refills are better than others.

#53 Sandy1

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 20:01

Hello,

I haven't read every post on the thread, so please excuse any repetition repetition.

I don't pretend to speak for other people, so I have taken the liberty to re-phrase the question, "When & why do I use a ball pen?" Note that I use a Parker Jotter with a Space Pen refill. I do not use disposable BPs, even when offered to me. (Now I can use H1N1 as a rationale for that, and for not loaning pens to someone I wouldn't kiss.)
  • When I don't have anything suitable to write upon. e.g. 2x3" grocery list held in my hand.
  • When what I'm writing upon isn't FP friendly.
  • When I am likely to write on 1 sheet, without underpadding.
  • When filling-out forms on-the-spot : because forms are too often poorly designed - without wide enough lines for my B-nibs.
  • When clearing int'l borders, filling out certain kinds of permit requests, etc. I like my forms to fit-in, not be exceptional in any way.
  • When the paper isn't level - e.g. writing using a wall for support.
  • When what I'm writing upon isn't dry or clean.
  • When my pen may be borrowed. (I never fail to be amazed at the number of people who go about without any writing implement.) Oh, if someone does use my FP (very rare), I keep the cap, so it's likely the pen won't get pocketed, and I'll get the pen back.
  • When its rather chilly - not because of the nature of FPs, but that I may drop the pen due to cold fingers. OBTW, Rotring 600s land on their posted caps.
Best Best Regards,
Sandy1

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#54 simar

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 05:02

I always proffer a good quality BP to clients to sign documents , particularly wills , where all parties should sign with the same pen ; it's just easier and less risky than handing them a FP .

#55 beandoc

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 05:30

I carry one or two BP pens purely for the purpose of lending to others. I typically carry the BPs in the breast pocket of my white coat, while carrying the FPs in my shirt pocket, well protected. I have felt bad once or twice when someone reached for my pen, and I put it away, handing them one of the BPs to use.
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#56 kaissa

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 06:35

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.


I prefer rollerballs to ballpoints as for me they are easier to write with, as I can change the line thickness by pressing a little bit harder (not as great as a fountain pen, but it is in there).

I find Parker gel refills for ballpoint pens as a great invention. The ballpoint that I carry with me for the sole purpose of lending to others (I never give a fountain to another person unless I know that s/he knows how to use and handle it), now writes smoother and lasts less :)

Regards
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#57 lovemy51

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:02

my rotring core with a fisher (parker conversion) refill writes under water... well at least on wet surfaces and i work in construction. i need a BP!
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pleese, forgeeve my bad espelling!! Posted Image

#58 lovemy51

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:06

That's a little harsh. Kind of like looking down on a person for wearing a nice pair of jeans and shirt instead of donning a tailored suit from Savile Row.

I'm in agreement with you.

Welcome to the FPN and have some extra points for knowing the correct spelling of "Savile Row".


this guy looks like he is fitted at Savile Row: ;)
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Edited by lovemy51, 03 November 2009 - 10:07.

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pleese, forgeeve my bad espelling!! Posted Image

#59 Deirdre

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:07

Aside from the Vanishing Point, few FPs are ones you can grab in the middle of the night and write a note without light.

That's why I keep a ballpoint by the bed.

Another point I didn't see mentioned: because the laydown of ink on the paper is much lower with ballpoints and rollerballs, the refills last oh-so-much longer.
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#60 mikerph

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 11:32

I am a pharmacist and have to take telephone orders constantly. These are usually rapid fire dictations with time constraints. A fountain pen would be difficult at best. I keep a ballpoint handy at all times. However, I do use a fountain pen when transcribing written orders or doing general writing.
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