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This article on How the ballpoint pen killed cursive (via andrewducker) reminds me of something.

I did a single year in London pre-tertiary education, in first year secondary school. One of the many differences between that and my otherwise mostly US-based early formal education was that the school required us to have a fountain pen. My parents bought me a cheap basic school model, refilled with cartridges like everyone else. It was meant for more formal writing situations (with ballpoints allowed in less formal situations), but I found it awkward since I hadn't ever used one before that. As I know from later usage, better-quality fountain pens can be lovely to write with; this one wasn't.

But that's not the point. I haven't heard anyone discuss fountain pens outside the realm of specialist love and practice since then.

Are fountain pens still used in the UK educational system anywhere, or have they fallen by the wayside in the intervening decades?

(My own pen-love has largely settled on superfine felt-tips these days.)


Aug. 30th, 2015 10:39 pm (UTC)
I was the same - taught cursive with a fountain pen in junior school, switched to a ballpoint when I switched to a (less nice/middle-class) school at 11-ish, switched to printing as soon as possible, and then to typing as soon as I was allowed to hand in printed essays (university).

I haven't seen fountain pens in a very long time. Probably not since I was 11. (Except in the hand of Neil Gaiman, who likes such things.)