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



Common perceptions  

464 members have voted

  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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Most clients I offer a fountain pen are mildly surprised by it, the first time. After the first experience many will ask to use one to sign necessary documents. This usually leads to "why do you use fountain pens?" or "I haven't used one of these in years."

 

Any other setting, hardly anyone notices.

 

Most are more fascinated by the ink, particularly Diamine's Registrar's. "How can an ink write that shade of blue, yet dry mostly black?", said with amazement. You'd think I am a magician.

"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."-Jim Valvano

 

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem."-Ronald Reagan

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  • GabrielleDuVent

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I've had two major kinds of responses. The first one is the classic (and irreverent) "What is that thing? It's so impractical."

The second is my personal favorite: "Who do you think you are, John Hancock?" (After which, I give a lengthy speech about the differences between fountain pens and quill pens. Mr. Hancock would be very proud, I'm sure).

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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".

 

This is so recognizable, unfortunately. Maybe it's not being jealous or envious, but as you quote, simply not understanding your world (for lack of a better word).

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GabrielleDuVent

I've had two major kinds of responses. The first one is the classic (and irreverent) "What is that thing? It's so impractical."

The second is my personal favorite: "Who do you think you are, John Hancock?" (After which, I give a lengthy speech about the differences between fountain pens and quill pens. Mr. Hancock would be very proud, I'm sure).

 

"Who do you think you are, John Hancock?"

"I'm sure if John had MY pen, his signature would be even bigger! Maybe even take up half the parchment."

 

There was a post somewhere on FPN which discussed what pen G W Bush was using to sign bills (Cross Townsend Rollerball), but someone said "... I thought he used Crayola". I nearly died laughing.

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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Honestly, GabrielleDuVent, your question has led me to examine my motives for using a fountain pen, not only but especially in public, because I use it from choice and not necessity, and at some inconvenience.

I think that people's reactions in public may sometimes come from their pre-judgements of our own motives.

I haven't come up with an answer yet but it's turning out to be quite a complex exercise, psychologically.

For the moment I'll just safely say 'because i can'.

Edited by jetsam
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GabrielleDuVent

Honestly, GabrielleDuVent, your question has led me to examine my motives for using a fountain pen, not only but especially in public, because I use it from choice and not necessity.

I haven't come up with an answer yet but it's turning out to be quite a complex exercise, psychologically.

 

There are plenty of reasons, most of them valid in my opinion. "Because it looks classy and people'd think I'm cultured" really isn't one of them (someone asked me that once...). But I've heard myriads of reasons for using them, varying from "I remember my father every time I use it" to "it's beautiful and I like beautiful things" to "I'm tired of Bics". All of them make sense to me. It's never a singular reason, either. I like beautiful things and pens are one of them, but I also have weak writing pressure, and I happen to like the varieties of ink colours and varying thinness of lines offered in FPs.

 

But hey, examining motives is always a good thing to do. And once you do get the answer, let us know. Maybe I'll start another poll :P

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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Lyander0012

Most clients I offer a fountain pen are mildly surprised by it, the first time. After the first experience many will ask to use one to sign necessary documents. This usually leads to "why do you use fountain pens?" or "I haven't used one of these in years."

 

Any other setting, hardly anyone notices.

 

Most are more fascinated by the ink, particularly Diamine's Registrar's. "How can an ink write that shade of blue, yet dry mostly black?", said with amazement. You'd think I am a magician.

 

EDIT: Fixed a few typos :P

 

I think you nailed the reason why a lot of people on this forum are so fixated on Blue/Black inks, haha XD

 

As for me, the only B/B I own at the moment is the Lamy one. It's a bit too washed out for me, so I'll just finish off this bottle then start hunting around for a better one :rolleyes:

 

Anyway, an interesting thing happened to me just the other day. I "whipped out" my Prelude (it's the only pen I trust myself to use when out and about— it's one heck of a sturdy pen) while at a restaurant the other day, working on some random short story about a VERY funny anecdote that I might just share here one of these days when the waiter slipped my pen a surreptitious glance at the notebook I was writing in. It took a while for him to notice the nib, I think, because the Prelude has a relatively tiny steel nib. I'm not entirely sure about the exact size. When he took it all in, though, he did a bit of a squinty double take and nearly dropped a plate of pizza on me. That might've been a bit amusing in hindsight, but I was fairly ravenous at the time, and might've been really mad had he not corrected himself in time.

 

I didn't get any verbal comments, but the reaction was priceless :lticaptd:

Edited by Lyander0012

"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

I'm terrified of blue-blacks, because they're usually the iron gall culprits and I generally forget to flush out the barrel after my 2nd or 3rd fill (... to be honest, I never keep count. Run low, fill up is my routine).

 

I've used my Lamy in a local coffee shop before, since which has turned into Hipster Mecca. With my Moleskine. I got really dirty looks from other true-blue hipsters dressed in American Apparel. They must have thought I was journalling or something.

 

I was actually making a grocery list. Apparently writing "pound of beef, chuck" with an FP is a very hip thing to do.

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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I usually get: "you write calligraphy?". You know, cause the only use for a fountain pen is caligraphy. Lol

Captain Kirk is the man and I don't want to hear another word about it! http://straightrazorplace.com/images/smilies/borg.gif

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But hey, examining motives is always a good thing to do. And once you do get the answer, let us know. Maybe I'll start another poll :P

I was about to make that very suggestion.

 

Reading your reply made me suddenly realize that, whatever the motives, using a fountain pen has made me rediscover the joy of writing for its own sake. (beats being pretentious, unless that's why it brings me joy, haha)

I can't wait to get my Laban Mento so I can 'whip it out' in public.

Edited by jetsam
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queenofpens

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?)

 

Neither, based on the reactions of my friends - they are more interested in personal style, and they notice my pens along with my business bag, my notebook, and other "accessories" that are not scarves or jewelry.

 

One friend, in particular, always notices if I have a pink pen or a pink pen case because she likes pink accessories.

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queenofpens

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.

 

Colleagues used to tease me some about my handful of pens with different color inks and different writing tips - not really about the fountain pens per se, just the variety I needed to have with me. Until we all needed to attend a class on some simplified project management techniques suitable for small projects.

 

And the first thing thing the instructor did was issue all of them a set of six different colored pens - :D

 

I got a set, too, of course, which I just added to the handful I had brought with me for marking up documents and revisions of documents ad infinitum - life in the project management world. :lticaptd:

Edited by queenofpens
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GabrielleDuVent

So per jetsam's suggestion (thanks, jetsam), I put up another poll. This one asks why you, personally, use fountain pens.

 

It made me aware that every time I pick up my pen, I am making a conscious choice to not use other forms of pens. It was a little bit of an eye-opener.

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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Young people: what a gimmick to use fountain pen

Old people: wow, how can you still use fountain pen nowadays

Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger men.../JFK

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Lyander0012

I'm terrified of blue-blacks, because they're usually the iron gall culprits and I generally forget to flush out the barrel after my 2nd or 3rd fill (... to be honest, I never keep count. Run low, fill up is my routine).

 

I've used my Lamy in a local coffee shop before, since which has turned into Hipster Mecca. With my Moleskine. I got really dirty looks from other true-blue hipsters dressed in American Apparel. They must have thought I was journalling or something.

 

I was actually making a grocery list. Apparently writing "pound of beef, chuck" with an FP is a very hip thing to do.

 

To the best of my knowledge, not all Blue/Black inks are iron-gall inks. Sure, most of the better ones are, but there are a few (like Lamy B/B) that you don't really have to worry about.

 

And don't get me started on hipsters, please. I just cannot agree with the philosophy of different for the sake of being different. I like some niche things (for one, I prefer headphones by A-T, AKG, Sennheiser, etc. over Beats and Monster) and, naturally, fountain pens. Nonetheless, that doesn't mean that I have anything against more mainstream things. Bah, you have no idea how often people think I'm a "hipster" just because I use fountain pens on a daily basis.

 

A thought: why not add that option to your poll? XD

 

 

Reading your reply made me suddenly realize that, whatever the motives, using a fountain pen has made me rediscover the joy of writing for its own sake. (beats being pretentious, unless that's why it brings me joy, haha)

I can't wait to get my Laban Mento so I can 'whip it out' in public.

 

That's very true. When I only wrote as a means to an end before, I realized just recently that I've taken to randomly and pointlessly scribbling on loose sheaves of paper just for the fun of writing. Concentrating on how to properly hold a fountain pen took a bit of the fun away from the experience at first, but it's become second habit to me of late :))

"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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Lyander0012

Young people: what a gimmick to use fountain pen

Old people: wow, how can you still use fountain pen nowadays

 

Um. This question might be misconstrued as a rude one, but it's more for the sake of humor than anything else:

So, of the two groups, which do you belong to / which one is the more mistaken? XD

"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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ethernautrix

When I whip mine out, people say, "Oh my! I was not expecting that!"

_________________

etherX in To Miasto

Fleekair <--French accent.

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When I whip mine out, people say, "Oh my! I was not expecting that!"

I'm reminded of a scene in "Blazing Saddles"...

Jeffery

In the Irish Channel of

New Orleans, LA

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GabrielleDuVent

:lticaptd: :bunny01: :notworthy1:

 

Why? Is it bigger than what people expect? :P

 

Sorry, that was crass.

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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