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How the Ballpoint Pen Killed Cursive (2015) (theatlantic.com)
34 points by kweinber 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

The thing I notice most about fountain (or calligraphy) pens isn't how easily they put ink on paper, but how scratchy they are.

OTOH, I think the author needs to get himself a fat, high quality ballpoint pen. The pen size seems to actually be the part that creates the most hand stress in my case.

Also, for that matter, I find some of the cheap gel pens seem smoother than the cheap ballpoints too. The combination of a gel refill in a fat pen like an old papermate PhD multi pen might be just right.

Felt/"felt" tipped pens work pretty well for me in terms of handwriting and speed. Don't even have to be fancy, papermates or staedlers are fine.

> The thing I notice most about fountain (or calligraphy) pens isn't how easily they put ink on paper, but how scratchy they are.

While this is necessarily true of some calligraphy pens (like those designed for crisp italics), it's absolutely not true of fountain pens. If your nib is scratchy then it needs to be adjusted.

Maybe try again? Calligraphy nibs (and Asian fountain pens, designed for Asian calligraphy) tend to be extra fine, and therefore more scratchy.

A fountain pen with an American or European medium nib should be smooth to very smooth.

If your pen feels scratchy, either you are holding it wrong or your ink is the cheaper-than-water type..

Bic's save handwriting campaign is probably more to sell pens than anything else. Considering the many billions of non-biodegradable tubes of plastic they've injected into the environment I don't have any sympathy for them if their market is waning. Good riddance to them and their razors too.

Good riddance to them

But, but, but ... what about spitballs?

When I was a kid 50 years ago we used those $0.19 Bic pens. (We also used ink pens, but that's another discussion).

The Bic pens unscrewed very easily. Leaving you with a nice clear tube. You tore up pieces of paper into tiny wads and covered them with spit. You used the Bic tube to shoot them at your classmates.

Don't kids still do that? Without spitballs how will bored preteen boys pass their days while being stuck in boring classes?

I suppose that nowadays Ritalin and Adderal are the preferred answers. But the better answer is to have more engaging teachers. I switched schools in 7th grade and the classes were much less boring. No more spitballs. Better teachers or perhaps more mature kids?

Yeah, but did you spatter your classmates with your fountain pen? A good flick of the wrist threw ink ten feet at least. I should add that a) this was an all-boys school, and b) it was in the early 1970s, ergo everyone wore clothes made of synthetic fabrics that washed clean.

Some of the pigment liner pens are pretty good to write with. I use these https://www.amazon.com/Staedtler-Pigment-Sketch-Regular-308S...

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