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



Common perceptions  

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

    • "My, that's a weird looking pen."
      50
    • "That's a cool pen!"
      167
    • "Is that a fountain pen?"
      182
    • "Is that a weapon?"
      12
    • "Can I borrow it?"
      40
    • "Do you use fountain pens? I do too! (goes off into a monologue)"
      19
    • "That's a very posh pen."
      55
    • Other (write them in the posts!)
      97


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Lyander0012

"Really? You use one of those?" - then they proceed to give a disgusting look to me and wander off.

 

 

Huh, that's a new one on me. I'd understand being flabbergasted at the amount of money a person would spend on fountain pens, but actively showing disgust at the thought of using a fountain pen? Wow :huh:

 

Um, are you maybe from one of those countries where primary school kids are forced to use fountain pens to learn proper penmanship? Sorry, I don't know very much about Canada, really. I'm just curious, since the only reason I can think of for a person to develop a resentment towards fountain pens would be if they were imposed upon the person at an earlier time.

 

 

 

But asking people around the workplace if they can believe someone spends money on anything is rather... tasteless, imo. It's not about the money :(

 

 

Not so much tasteless as it is a bit offensive, in my (humble?) opinion. I mean, it's one thing to react incredulously, but that sounded as if they were trying to rally support and convince themselves that they're in the right.

 

... Yeah, I'm speaking from personal experience. It's not a pleasant memory, being called out for no good reason. Bah =_=

"The price of an object should not only be what you had to pay for it, but also what you've had to sacrifice in order to obtain it." - <i>The Wisdom of The Internet</i><p class='bbc_center'><center><img src="http://i59.tinypic.com/jr4g43.jpg"/></center>

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  • GabrielleDuVent

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Lyander0012

We can award her with one of those really cheap ballpoints with names in the body. She might not like the idea of FPs, though; it's one of the hallmarks of privileged class (spending 200 pounds on something when you can buy one with "equal" function for 50p? Preposterous!) and she did write a novel recently that directly indicts the middle class.

 

 

Or one might just be plain tired of donating bic rods to the street pavement. Or one might have really weak writing pressure (like me) and can't write anything legible with bic rods. Or one might have done the calculation and said, "right, 1000 dollars for a good pen. I'm going to use it for 60 years. That's 21900 days, 1000/21900 is 4.5 cents, that's cheaper than a bic."

 

I personally can't write with bic. It becomes illegible with all the ink skips. So it's not from vanity but utility.

 

Hmm, maybe a Parker Jotter? I'm sure that a layperson would appreciate that very much. Or maybe a Fisher Space Pen, just for the sake of being different, haha :thumbup:

 

 

Regardless of how well I defend my position, or how much I insist that it's not so much a matter of vanity than it is my simply deriving more enjoyment out of writing that leads to my using fountain pens on a daily basis for everyday tasks, it's impossible to convince someone who's already made up their mind. As they say (though who "they" are, I'm not exactly sure), NEVER argue with an idiot, as they will bring you down to their level then win from experience. In this case, though, it's more a matter of unenlightenment than idiocy, despite neither being mutually exclusive characteristics :rolleyes:

 

... Okay, I'm pretty sure that quote about idiots was taken from someone famous, but I'm not entirely sure who it was that said it :/

"The price of an object should not only be what you had to pay for it, but also what you've had to sacrifice in order to obtain it." - <i>The Wisdom of The Internet</i><p class='bbc_center'><center><img src="http://i59.tinypic.com/jr4g43.jpg"/></center>

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N2theBreach

I get a range of responses, from nothing, to:

- "Ooooohh. Fancy pen!" From colleagues at work, when I first switched. It's a bit of ribbing, really, because they know I'm not a guy to put on airs..

- One of my favorites: " It's been years since I've seen someone use a fountain pen. I enjoyed watching you write."

- "I remember using those. You get ink all over the place with them. <sniff>" I bite my tongue so that I don't reply, "Only if you're clumsy."

- "Pretty pen!" "Wanna try it?" "Can I? Oh, pretty ink, too!"

 

Unfortunately, many of the comments are from cashiers, so even though they seem interested, there isn't time to let them ask more about it.

 

Addendum : No one ever thought it was a weapon. I think the responses we get are based, in part, on our age. I'm middle- aged, so I think I may get more deference now than if I were much younger.

 

Plus, people my age are expected to do strange things. Things like wearing shorts that are above our knees, wearing a watch, and other weird stuff. :)

Edited by N2theBreach
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Huh, that's a new one on me. I'd understand being flabbergasted at the amount of money a person would spend on fountain pens, but actively showing disgust at the thought of using a fountain pen? Wow :huh:

 

Um, are you maybe from one of those countries where primary school kids are forced to use fountain pens to learn proper penmanship? Sorry, I don't know very much about Canada, really. I'm just curious, since the only reason I can think of for a person to develop a resentment towards fountain pens would be if they were imposed upon the person at an earlier time.

 

 

 

Not so much tasteless as it is a bit offensive, in my (humble?) opinion. I mean, it's one thing to react incredulously, but that sounded as if they were trying to rally support and convince themselves that they're in the right.

 

... Yeah, I'm speaking from personal experience. It's not a pleasant memory, being called out for no good reason. Bah =_=

 

 

People here, once they see that someone uses a fountain pen, they instantly think 'rich and therefore, snobbish.' We only learn how to write in grades 3 and 4, and we never use FP's. Not even the art teachers in schools here use fountain pens or acknowledge them. I've been around and asked... A lot...

 

In my age group, (I'm 18) people give me a hard time because I prefer a fountain pen over the newest iPhone. Seems to be what media and popular culture has told people, and thus, they are distasteful to them and people who use them.

 

My music teacher used a FP to write music, and he actually did have a music nib on it. Brand? I can't say because I never got close enough to take a full gander. My english teacher used fountain pens every now and then so her and I talked about them and penmanship a bunch.

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often at times we call a man cold when he is only sad." ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Family and friends usually humor me or say nothing.

 

Most people are not interested ( I suspect that to most people the Fountain Pen is considered an ancient tool of single function communication versus most people's usual excitement over a new piece of multifunctional explosive technology : phone, tablet, etc ) and most people don't handwrite letters, thank yous, notes anymore. It's just under the radar of practical usefulness in today's high technology age where typing has replaced handwriting.

 

Some people occasionally remark positively of the beauty of a stunning ( especially celluloid ) Fountain Pen.

 

Occasional unpleasant remark about how old fashioned and out of date Fountain pens are.

 

As I use Fountain Pens every day in my profession, I find that everyday I feel something very special as my Being connects Pen, Paper and Ink into a creative process. The feeling of entering the moment, Mind and Body together, here and now, focused on those I am listening to and the focusing on understanding of what is being said and understood. And the commitment that comes with writing my understanding speaks louder to me then the silence or unpleasantness.

 

Best regards

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GabrielleDuVent

I get a range of responses, from nothing, to:

- "Ooooohh. Fancy pen!" From colleagues at work, when I first switched. It's a bit of ribbing, really, because they know I'm not a guy to put on airs..

- One of my favorites: " It's been years since I've seen someone use a fountain pen. I enjoyed watching you write."

- "I remember using those. You get ink all over the place with them. <sniff>" I bite my tongue so that I don't reply, "Only if you're clumsy."

- "Pretty pen!" "Wanna try it?" "Can I? Oh, pretty ink, too!"

 

Unfortunately, many of the comments are from cashiers, so even though they seem interested, there isn't time to let them ask more about it.

 

Addendum : No one ever thought it was a weapon. I think the responses we get are based, in part, on our age. I'm middle- aged, so I think I may get more deference now than if I were much younger.

 

Plus, people my age are expected to do strange things. Things like wearing shorts that are above our knees, wearing a watch, and other weird stuff. :)

 

I wear shorts above my knees and wear a watch all the time. It's not a middle-aged thing, it a thing of taste!

 

 

 

People here, once they see that someone uses a fountain pen, they instantly think 'rich and therefore, snobbish.' We only learn how to write in grades 3 and 4, and we never use FP's. Not even the art teachers in schools here use fountain pens or acknowledge them. I've been around and asked... A lot...

 

In my age group, (I'm 18) people give me a hard time because I prefer a fountain pen over the newest iPhone. Seems to be what media and popular culture has told people, and thus, they are distasteful to them and people who use them.

 

My music teacher used a FP to write music, and he actually did have a music nib on it. Brand? I can't say because I never got close enough to take a full gander. My english teacher used fountain pens every now and then so her and I talked about them and penmanship a bunch.

 

... That makes sense now, the "rich and snobbish" thing. I was using an FP to write a message inside a book, and one of my former acquaintances (no longer acquainted for the obvious reason that is about to follow), who is from Canada, glanced and said, "psh, snob". I had no idea what that was about; the pen was a Lamy Safari. It's a good pen, but not exactly top-of-the-line, state-of-art pen that screams "I am rich and I am endowed with all that money can give!". I've used the pen in the UK, and all I got was "would you like the ink cartridges for your Lamy? We have some" or "oh, you're using a Lamy". The Americans give me no comment.

 

Now that I think about it, with all of his responses to me, I'd say that they aren't distasteful, but rather, jealous. It sets you apart from others and an FP appears to be an indirect way of telling people, "I am different from you. I can spend money and time on a pen (which is a luxury item in a common perception; after all, bic rods are a dollar a bag?), and I have. I have taste, class and culture". It's not that they want the pen, but they identify you as classy.

 

I'd gotten plenty of jibes from that fellow, in regards to all sorts of things, starting with wine, coffee, all the way to my leather-bound copy of Burns. It was rather clear in the end that he had a reverse inferiority complex regarding manner and culture to me, which struck me as pretty ridiculous. But as a wise man once said, "what you have is normal to you, but perhaps not normal to others".

Edited by GabrielleDuVent

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

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ethernautrix

Ah... I've been reminded of a couple of other comments:

 

"No wonder you have such nice handwriting!" (Heh. Years and pens ago, when I still wrote with ballpoints primarily, I received favorable remarks about my handwriting, so I don't think it's the pen. Maybe a little.) (Not to brag about my handwriting, which I find sloppy more often than not.)

 

"A fountain pen? I didn't know they still made those."

 

I can't recall any nasty remarks. Perhaps I've been inured to being considered an oddball, so I hardly notice those comments. I do not consider using a fountain pen a mark of being an oddball, though. I suppose I should, but I just can't. Rather, I perceive those who look upon a fountain pen with cautious wonder or indifference as odd. Really? It's a fountain pen, not a hand grenade.

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etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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GabrielleDuVent

 

 

I can't recall any nasty remarks. Perhaps I've been inured to being considered an oddball, so I hardly notice those comments. I do not consider using a fountain pen a mark of being an oddball, though. I suppose I should, but I just can't. Rather, I perceive those who look upon a fountain pen with cautious wonder or indifference as odd. Really? It's a fountain pen, not a hand grenade.

 

For those who don't know how to use it, it can be hand grade. Ink explodes everywhere. Especially if you throw it.

 

I think, for those who are aware of my existence, that I appear to be a very old-fashioned person with quirky habits. Perhaps not quite of this generation. A lot of my interests are quite antiquated, and I do often get "... what on earth is that" kind of a look when I am using my FP in a new environment. Pull out an ink eradicator and I'm pretty much set as being old-fashioned.

 

Then I pull out things like Kindle and they just decide I'm weird.

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

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A couple of incidents in which it would have helped if I'd had a fountain pen to whip out:

 

At a garage sale, I asked if they had any fountain pens. The guy tried to sell me some squirting water toy. I guess all he heard was "fountain."

 

At a thrift store, I asked for fountain pens and was directed to a rack full of pants.

 

Maybe I should work on my diction.

"A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!"

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Lyander0012

A couple of incidents in which it would have helped if I'd had a fountain pen to whip out:

 

At a garage sale, I asked if they had any fountain pens. The guy tried to sell me some squirting water toy. I guess all he heard was "fountain."

 

At a thrift store, I asked for fountain pens and was directed to a rack full of pants.

 

Maybe I should work on my diction.

 

... I'm sorry, but the latter part cracked me up :lticaptd:

 

Anyway, apart from the fairly close group of FP enthusiasts here in the Philippines, I find it near impossible to find anyone even remotely knowledgeable about fountain pens. True, one could argue that any such people would inevitably have been drawn into the group, but with barely over 200 members out of the millions in Metro Manila alone, one would feel that there ought to be a few lone wolves operating here and there :rolleyes:

 

Bah, I wish that fountain pens weren't such a niche product. The novelty of using a fountain pen doesn't quite weigh up against the sheer practicality of it (when limited to optimal/adequate writing conditions), so the joy of using one when most people opt for roller balls/ballpoints/felt tips/etc. or, God forbid, not writing at all (*gasp* ;)) is nowhere near compensation enough for those moments when you need replacement parts or advice on short notice.

"The price of an object should not only be what you had to pay for it, but also what you've had to sacrifice in order to obtain it." - <i>The Wisdom of The Internet</i><p class='bbc_center'><center><img src="http://i59.tinypic.com/jr4g43.jpg"/></center>

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I never "whip out" a pen. That applies to something else.

 

I don't care what anybody says or thinks when I ready a fountain pen for use. If they are contemptuous or uncomprehending so much the better. I will have the pen in my left hand and the middle finger of my right hand will be secretly extended.

"Don't hurry, don't worry. It's better to be late at the Golden Gate than to arrive in Hell on time."
--Sign in a bar and grill, Ormond Beach, Florida, 1960.

 

 

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GabrielleDuVent

I never "whip out" a pen. That applies to something else.

 

I don't care what anybody says or thinks when I ready a fountain pen for use. If they are contemptuous or uncomprehending so much the better. I will have the pen in my left hand and the middle finger of my right hand will be secretly extended.

 

The question was what other people comment, not whether you care. It was to see if people pay any attention to writing instruments. It's obvious none of us care what others think of us using FPs, otherwise we'd have stopped using it by now.

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

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N2theBreach

 

At a thrift store, I asked for fountain pens and was directed to a rack full of pants.

 

Maybe I should work on my diction.

Maybe you should have gone through the pants' pockets. May have been a pen or two in there! :D Edited by N2theBreach
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Strombomboli

 

The question was what other people comment, not whether you care. It was to see if people pay any attention to writing instruments. It's obvious none of us care what others think of us using FPs, otherwise we'd have stopped using it by now.

 

Oh, mademoiselle du Vent, pourquoi si dure ?

Iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Mashkov (1881-1944): Self-Portrait; 1911, which I photographed in the New Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.

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opticalserenity

I was asked the other day about my Montegrappa Espressione. The person who asked was a chiropractor who wants to put one at his sign in sheet in his office. After writing with it, he said "I think I can budget about $35 for one of these at my office..." Ehhh...

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Tom Aquinas

Just had one down at the bank: "Oh that's nice, I did not know they still made things like that." Well I suppose it is because I used a 1949 era P51 ?

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GabrielleDuVent

 

Oh, mademoiselle du Vent, pourquoi si dure ?

 

I suppose I responded so because I want to know what non-FP users think of fountain pens. I pretty much know what FP users think of FPs; I've never heard anyone say "well, I hate fountain pens, they gave me arthritis and tendonitis and broke all the bones in my phalanges, the ink shot out of the nib up my nose and I'd rather eat my shoes than use FPs again... but alas, God save me, I must use it". Most people around me have either mocked the usage or envied or both (envied, didn't want to admit it, so mocked it). But one person is a very biased pool. And asking "what do you think of using FPs" on this forum website is rather moot.

 

As for $35 Montegrappas... there might be a counterfeit on ebay from China, and most people signing the entry-sheet won't notice it's a counterfeit, but there remains a crucial question: just how many visitors would know how to use it properly?

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

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Most of those who notice my FP and mention it are African American females (students, faculty, and staff). That might be a good master's thesis topic: which segment of the population notices the FP, and why (are the the segment who is watching me write, or are they more interested than others in penmanship?)

Jeffery

In the Irish Channel of

New Orleans, LA

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Most people at work just know I'm nuts cause I'm one of those BA guys who make them come up with requirements before the coding starts. So it makes sense I use weird pens. They're used to me coming to meetings and putting down my 3-pack case and switching to different colors. Today the person sitting next to me in staff meeting (my turn to take minutes) commented on the nice color of ink, Tulip Noir - way to go FPN. No mention of the pearl and black oversized Sheaffer balance.

 

One of the people at my dentist's office calls it an "ink pen". She's a boomer like me, but I had never heard the term before.

"If you are going through hell, keep going." - Sir Winston Churchill

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/carrieh/l.png

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Most people at work just know I'm nuts cause I'm one of those BA guys who make them come up with requirements before the coding starts. So it makes sense I use weird pens. They're used to me coming to meetings and putting down my 3-pack case and switching to different colors. Today the person sitting next to me in staff meeting (my turn to take minutes) commented on the nice color of ink, Tulip Noir - way to go FPN. No mention of the pearl and black oversized Sheaffer balance.

 

One of the people at my dentist's office calls it an "ink pen". She's a boomer like me, but I had never heard the term before.

Yeah, down here they say "hot water heater" and "silver dime".

Jeffery

In the Irish Channel of

New Orleans, LA

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