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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 02:30 pm (UTC)
I was taught cursive in pencil on double-ruled paper. Since the examples on the board were in chalk, pencil was probably a closer analogy than fountain pen would have been, though I may have felt disappointed that my letters didn't come out as pretty as the calligraphy in movies or pictures. We already knew printing from kindergarten, I suppose. I don't recall when I actually learned to make printed letters.