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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 09:00 am (UTC)
I still use a fountain pen if/when I hand write first drafts of stories. (see icon) Mostly I type. I use a biro or rollerball at work, just for convenience and lack of leaking. Like lil_shepherd, I learned to write with a pencil and then a dip-in-the-ink pen. I had my first fountain pen at the age of about 10. The headmistress at the time considered biros to be the work of the devil, so if your parents couldn't afford a fountain pen, you had to keep using the horrible scratchy dip pens. I still used a fountain pen throughout secondary school, though at some point biros became acceptable.

I'm pretty sure that the schools here don't use fountain pens any more. My kids did have them for school, but they are now grown up and have children of their own, so not an indication as to what is happening now.

Edited at 2015-08-31 09:00 am (UTC)