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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. 31st, 2015 07:58 am (UTC)
I haven't used a fountain pen for a long time, though there are about six in the house. I learned to write what in those days we called 'joined up writing' with a dip pen and an inkwell. (This was in the 50s.) In the 60s, we weren't allowed ball points but had to use a fountain pen until I was in the sixth form when this got relaxed a bit, particularly for note taking.

I can't draft things in any detail on the computer - I have to have something in long hand to start

I can write quite prettily with a ball point, though an italic tip is my pen of choice for 'posh'...