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What Is Meant When One Says A Nib Is Boring?



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Posted (edited)

I thnk there are tools and then there are tools.

 

A violin is a tool for rubbing strings, and yes, the player makes it sound extraordinary... but I can knock together a violin that works, but it will never be an exquisite tool, even if it works. And I know someone who handmakes violins that are sought after by talented musicians who know his tool will make their work sound that much better (far better than my functional tool), but of course, his tool pales in comparison to the Stradivariuses (Stardivarii?!?) of that particular tool world, which, by virtue of the craftsmanship that went into them, do a far better job of doing their job than (shall we say) less boring tools.

 

This quote I read about a tool 30 years ago comes to mind now, about how some tools are just that, and others help you make magic.

 

 

" IF THIS TYPEWRITER CAN’T DO IT, then [darn it], it can’t be done.

 

This is the all-new Remington SL3... The burger served by the genius waitress. The Empress card.

 

I sense that the novel of my dreams is in the Remington SL3—although it writes much faster than I can spell... This baby speaks electric Shakespeare at the slightest provocation and will rap out a page and a half if you just look at it hard.

 

“What are you looking for in a typewriter?” the salesman asked.

 

“Something more than words,” I replied. “Crystals. I want to send my readers armloads of crystals, some of which are the colors of orchids and peonies, some of which pick up radio signals from a secret city that is half Paris and half Coney Island.”

 

He recommended the Remington SL3.

 

My old typewriter was named Olivetti. I know an extraordinary juggler named Olivetti. No relation. There is, however, a similarity between juggling and composing on the typewriter. The trick is, when you spill something, make it look like part of the act.

 

I have in my cupboard, under lock and key, the last bottle of Anaïs Nin (green label) to be smuggled out of Punta del Visionario before the revolution. Tonight, I’ll pull the cork. I’ll inject ten cc. into a ripe lime, the way the natives do. I’ll suck. And begin …

 

If this typewriter can’t do it, I’ll swear it can’t be done."

 

 

(edited for childproofing)

 

Perhaps a change from the term "tool"to the term "instrument" might make some of the respondents more satisfied and less upset.

 

A violin is a tool/instrument to make music. Rubbing rosined horse hair over strings is how it accomplishes the sound, but that's not what makes it a tool. However, as noted a violin responds to the one using it to make sounds either something of beauty or something that makes dogs and small children run and hide. The same is true of a fountain pen, or any writing instrument/tool . Some here have beautiful handwriting while others, like me, don't.

Edited by Estycollector

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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Perhaps a change from the term "tool"to the term "instrument" might make some of the respondents more satisfied and less upset.

 

A violin is a tool/instrument to make music. Rubbing rosined horse hair over strings is how it accomplishes the sound, but that's not what makes it a tool. However, as noted a violin responds to the one using it to make sounds either something of beauty or something that makes dogs and small children run and hide. The same is true of a fountain pen, or any writing instrument/tool . Some here have beautiful handwriting while others, like me, don't.

When people use the term boring to refer to a nib, that rarely refers to the handwriting produced but the quality of the feedback, which is why the term tool or instrument had little to do with the question.

 

Sure, some users can take a boring nib and create interesting lines on the page, while some users of interesting nibs (to them) can create boring writing on their pages, either in terms of their handwriting or their written content.

 

Again, it is much like a Toyota vs Porsche .

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Perhaps a change from the term "tool"to the term "instrument" might make some of the respondents more satisfied and less upset.

 

It is as much up to them to elect to feel satisfied, upset or whatever at someone else's description, narrative or viewpoint, as it is their prerogative to decide whether a particular nib is boring to them (and to express and 'share' that opinion).

As always:  1. Implicit in everything and every instance I write on FPN is the invitation for you to judge me as a peer in the community. I think it's only due respect to take each other's written word in online discussion seriously and apply critical judgment.  2. I do not presume to judge for you what is right, correct or valid. If I make a claim, or refute a statement in a thread, and link to references and other information in support, I beseech you to review and consider those, and judge for yourself. I may be wrong. My position or say-so carries no more weight than anyone else's here, and external parties can speak for themselves with what they have published.  3. I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable. If it is something you can test for yourself and see the results, I entreat you to do so.

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A boring nib lacks character, elan, savoir faire, panache, elegance, or style. It offers a humdrum experience, which may be perfect for some applications. Government work? :rolleyes:

"Simplicate and add Lightness."

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When people use the term boring to refer to a nib, that rarely refers to the handwriting produced but the quality of the feedback, which is why the term tool or instrument had little to do with the question.

 

Sure, some users can take a boring nib and create interesting lines on the page, while some users of interesting nibs (to them) can create boring writing on their pages, either in terms of their handwriting or their written content.

 

Again, it is much like a Toyota vs Porsche .

 

Apparently from you own definition, there is no consensus of what "boring" means. Feedback can result from little or too much pressure, the type of paper used, and/or the ink employed.

 

Which is the better, Toyota or Porsche and why?

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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It is as much up to them to elect to feel satisfied, upset or whatever at someone else's description, narrative or viewpoint, as it is their prerogative to decide whether a particular nib is boring to them (and to express and 'share' that opinion).

 

We are all just sharing our opinions.

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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For me, it's all about the line. Boring is the line without character, neither delicate nor bold, no variation from flex or grind, nothing but rigidly uniform. The character can be subtle, but there has to be something to allow some means of expression. I'll even take wetness into account, enough of that and variation can be found between a light hand and heavy. There has to be something. Anything.

It's all about the greys...

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For me, it's all about the line. Boring is the line without character, neither delicate nor bold, no variation from flex or grind, nothing but rigidly uniform. The character can be subtle, but there has to be something to allow some means of expression. I'll even take wetness into account, enough of that and variation can be found between a light hand and heavy. There has to be something. Anything.

Not to counter but to add into the discussion: I love nibs which can lay uniform and well defined lines. I call them "precise" and allows me to do detailed work while working. I generally design software on paper and pens/nibs allow me to write between the lines is a big plus for me.

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Not to counter but to add into the discussion: I love nibs which can lay uniform and well defined lines. I call them "precise" and allows me to do detailed work while working. I generally design software on paper and pens/nibs allow me to write between the lines is a big plus for me.

 

Could you, would you consider showing us what your software designs appear as on paper?

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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Could you, would you consider showing us what your software designs appear as on paper?

It generally starts as normal writing, then I may add some block diagrams and other stuff. These diagrams tend to get complicated after a certain point. If I can find something I can share, I'll put the scans but, obviously I can't share everything. Sorry about that.

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It generally starts as normal writing, then I may add some block diagrams and other stuff. These diagrams tend to get complicated after a certain point. If I can find something I can share, I'll put the scans but, obviously I can't share everything. Sorry about that.

 

Yes, don't share what you can't. I just found your post interesting.

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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Apparently from you own definition, there is no consensus of what "boring" means. Feedback can result from little or too much pressure, the type of paper used, and/or the ink employed.

 

Which is the better, Toyota or Porsche and why?

Boring is a subjective term indeed. The author asks, what do you mean when you say a nib is boring? Many provide their own version of an answer. Some here seem to be distracted by the quality of the flourishes one's hand can perform and whether the nib writes well on paper.

 

Feedback results from the factors you list AND the nib's tipping.

 

About the cars, it is partly subjective, like the nibs.

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Posted (edited)

The definition of boring is not interesting or exciting.

 

After 40 years of using and collecting there are not many interesting or exciting nibs to me, I can only think of three which are special and different when in use.

 

So, according to the definition and in my experience, all other nibs are boring.

 

 

 

eta, edited for terrible typos

Edited by Beechwood

Straight roads do not make skilled drivers

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Boring is a subjective term indeed. The author asks, what do you mean when you say a nib is boring? Many provide their own version of an answer. Some here seem to be distracted by the quality of the flourishes one's hand can perform and whether the nib writes well on paper.

 

Feedback results from the factors you list AND the nib's tipping.

 

About the cars, it is partly subjective, like the nibs.

 

I've tried to address the OP's question and not be dismissive or difficult.

 

The problem with the Porsche is that it lacks roof racks. It matters little to me if I cannot add my Yakima components. This illustrates the quintessential problem. One person's Porsche is another person's Suby.

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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The definition of boring is not interesting or exciting.

 

After 40 years of using and collecting there are not many interesting or exciting nibs, I can only think of three which are soecial and different when in buse.

 

So according to the definition and in my experience, all other nibs are boring.

 

If I were to name the best pen, I have, that is both readily available and cheap. it is the Pilot Precise 5mm. The concept of boring would never enter my mind.

"Respect science, respect nature, respect all people (s),"

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A ball point is a boring 'nib'.

Or we'd be on Ball Point Pen com.

German vintage '50-70 semi-flex stubs and those in oblique give the real thing in On Demand line variation. Modern Oblique is a waste of money for a shadow of line variation. Being too lazy to Hunt for affordable vintage oblique pens, lets you 'hunt' for line variation instead of having it.

www.nibs.com/blog/nibster-writes/nibs-germany & https://www.peter-bo...cts/nib-systems,

 

The cheapest lessons are from those who learned expensive lessons. Ignorance is best for learning expensive lessons.

 

 

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I'm afraid that this thread has become...boring! ;^)

 

@estycollector: Careful what you write about musical instruments, like violins: if a particularly beautiful one is stashed away in a museum, never to be played, then it may surely be considered "a work of art"? and

 

@MuddyWaters: Toyota vs Porsche? It might not be so irrelevant when you are considering racing cars: those TS050 Toyotas do go! Look and see who won and placed at Le Mans, 2019! (It certainly wasn't Porsche, I'm afraid to report!)

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Posted (edited)

After reading more responses I've come to the understanding that the definition of a boring nib is about as clear as mud. As with most things of this nature it appears to all be subjective and dependent on the individual's expectations. I'm also understanding that boring can apply to both the look, fit and finish of a nib as well as how it puts ink to paper. To top it off it appears that a boring nib can be exactly what is needed so, in essence, the nib is no longer boring. So a universal consensus of a boring nib seems to be unobtainable, but this discussion has given me some really good insight on how each of you as an individual define a boring nib. Which, in turn, is helping me refine with I would consider a boring nib; or better yet, to help me understand what excites me about a nib

 

On the subject of pens being tools or something more. This can most likely be applied to just nibs, a pen as a whole or any other examples such as Toyota vs Porsche. My intention is not to stir the pot, but consider that it can be both at the same time. At it's core a pen can be considered to be a tool, but that doesn't mean it can't at the same time be something more than just a tool. It can also be a work of art. Just because something was designed for a specific purpose doesn't mean it cannot be beautiful in its own right. The function of a pen is to put ink on paper (a tool) but the innovation behind the pen, the design, the fit & finish all make it a work of art. Some may favor more form over function and others function over form. Even though both are meant to fulfill the purpose of putting ink on paper they both can be works of art. And whether a pen hobbyist chooses to use the pen as a tool or only display it as a work of art it is in fact both a tool and at the same time so much more than a tool. .

Edited by MadAsAHatter
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