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    Default Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Just had an unpleasant run in with someone I've had to do business with.

    She asked me to fill in a form. Since I had my pens out I used one of them (filled with sensible blue-black Quink, not some fancy fuchsia shimmer ink) to fill the form in.

    Back she came a while later with a triumphant look on her face.

    "Those stupid pens of yours. You need to use a biro."

    Then delivered herself of the sentiment that by using a fountain pen I am somehow putting myself above other people and being arrogant.

    Has anyone else experienced this kind of animosity to fountain pens? What drives it? I can understand she might have been annoyed that the form had to be completed again - but if it was that important I would have expected her to ascertain the fact that ballpoint was required in the first place.

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    I haven't but "those stupid pens of yours. You need to use a biro." would have used up my very short fuse.
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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    ..."Those stupid pens of yours. You need to use a biro."

    Then delivered herself of the sentiment that by using a fountain pen I am somehow putting myself above other people and being arrogant...
    LOL, some of my fountain pens are above the rest, some are more middle of the road. I aim for something better than barely acceptable.

    I wonder which of my pens are the most arrogant?
    Last edited by arrow; July 10th, 2019 at 07:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    You have to keep in mind that the bulk of the world's population has no experience with fountain pens, and some of those people treat anything outside of their orbit as irrelevant and inconvenient. She drive a Mercedes by any chance?


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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Hate to break it to you: the animosity is aimed at you. The FP was merely the conduit to funnel her venom.

    Question regarding your term "triumphant look:" what do you think happened to make her appear triumphant? Was the ink bleeding/running the cause of the form having to be redone?

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    As usual, I ensured the ink was dry before handing the form back to her. Yes, I wonder if the animosity was directed at me. I had queried a particular detail and I get an impression she doesn't like being asked to explain herself.

    And since I work as a freelance, perhaps there's a bit of outsider status / insider discontent thing going on there, too.

    But she could have objected to so many other things; it was the pens that got the hate.

    In fact I wouldn't have used the fountain pen if she'd given me the entire form to read through instead of just asking me to fill in certain details with the form already open to the relevant page - "You don't need to worry about the rest". If I'd read the entire form I would have read the request for ballpoint to be used in the small print at the bottom of the first page. (Don't worry; I was filling in financial numbers, not signing anything I hadn't read.)

    Biros are biros in the UK, Bics in France, and ballpoints in the US. Is there a nickname for Kugelschreiber too?
    Last edited by amk; July 11th, 2019 at 01:35 AM.

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    ...In fact I wouldn't have used the fountain pen if she'd given me the entire form to read through instead of just asking me to fill in certain details with the form already open to the relevant page - "You don't need to worry about the rest"....
    Next time, ask her, "If the rest doesn't matter, how about if we just cross the rest out?"

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    Is there a nickname for Kugelschreiber too?
    Yes, Kuli!

    Best
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    https://www.flickr.com/photos/136145166@N02/albums

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Thank you Jens - I should have realised that - I have a few Rotring Tintenkuli!

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    "I had queried a particular detail and I get an impression she doesn't like being asked to explain herself."


    So she lashed out at that.

    Keep on using your pens.

    bonne journée,
    Bob

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by kazoolaw View Post
    Hate to break it to you: the animosity is aimed at you. The FP was merely the conduit to funnel her venom.

    Question regarding your term "triumphant look:" what do you think happened to make her appear triumphant? Was the ink bleeding/running the cause of the form having to be redone?
    Jerk.jpeg

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Petty things like this are part of the local pecking order. It's reflected, reversed, turned inside out..., over and over... Next year at this time, maybe shorter time, weeks or months it's somehow acted out from your point of view.

    On the other side, fountain pens can be very flashy, show off, prestigous, simple, understated, more or less gold, just like Fred mentioned, we do this with everything; clothes, sports, accessoires,... There is this ever conflicting dymanic of fitting in yet standing out as an idividual, being true to your self, stand up for others, be part of your community...

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by arrow View Post
    Petty things like this are part of the local pecking order. It's reflected, reversed, turned inside out..., over and over... Next year at this time, maybe shorter time, weeks or months it's somehow acted out from your point of view.

    On the other side, fountain pens can be very flashy, show off, prestigous, simple, understated, more or less gold, just like Fred mentioned, we do this with everything; clothes, sports, accessoires,... There is this ever conflicting dymanic of fitting in yet standing out as an idividual, being true to your self, stand up for others, be part of your community...
    Thank you for hitting the nail right on the head, and to Fred, Kazoolaw, Azkid, and Mhosea for your excellent points. And I'll keep Farmboy's reply in mind.

    It's about her bad day, not you or your pens.

    Bonne journée
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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    I've not experienced animosity yet. If anyone even notices in the first place it is sometimes followed by interest.

    My unfounded conjecture is that in the 80s or 90s, fountain pens, specifically Montblanc pens, were primarily used as status symbols in the US, sort of like Rolex watches, which are still burdened with some cultural resentment and animosity.

    This class of writing instrument now seems to be growing in popularity among a wider audience, and as always is offered in a wide array of price tiers, so any perception of them as a status symbol, in general, is incorrect.

    Meanwhile... Why didn't the fountain pen work for the forms? Bleeding? Feathering? Some issue with duplicates?

    It has been really difficult to find a pen and ink combo that doesn't feather (at all) or show through on extremely crappy paper. I have maybe two inks out of dozens I can say that about.

    I've not had to fill out any duplicate forms lately but I don't have many pens with nibs that could take the heavy pressure I would use with a ballpoint on such forms.

    I may be remembering inaccurately but I think modern duplicate forms take more pressure than old carbon paper did. If that's true then would vintage manifold nibs be insufficient?

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Does anyone actually use the term "biro" except us pen snobs? I find it odd that someone that was not "into" the pen thing would use that term. Maybe it's regional. I've never heard anyone use the term in America.

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by heraclitus682 View Post
    Maybe it's regional. I've never heard anyone use the term in America.
    Nor I. Must be a British thing. OTOH, I live in one of the two pockets of America where drinking fountains are called "bubblers" after some ancient brand (IIRC). Oddly, if you ask where the "water fountain" is, you may get a blank stare as they wonder why anybody would be searching for a fountain and where the nearest one might be. I guess "drinking fountain" is pretty safe, but IIRC, you may be directed to what is often referred to as a "water cooler" elsewhere.

    I tend to agree with Kazoolaw. The fountain pen is just a focal point. The social context, including the attitude, is being set by other factors than just the FP use itself. Ballpoints might be required by decree (in which case a felt-tip would also not be accepted), because of bleed-through, a degree of permanence (in which case most FP ink would be regarded more or less like writing in pencil), desire for water resistance (pencil is great for this, ironically), or on multi-part forms.
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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by mhosea View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by heraclitus682 View Post
    Maybe it's regional. I've never heard anyone use the term in America.
    Nor I. Must be a British thing. OTOH, I live in one of the two pockets of America where drinking fountains are called "bubblers" after some ancient brand (IIRC). Oddly, if you ask where the "water fountain" is, you may get a blank stare as they wonder why anybody would be searching for a fountain and where the nearest one might be. I guess "drinking fountain" is pretty safe, but IIRC, you may be directed to what is often referred to as a "water cooler" elsewhere.

    I tend to agree with Kazoolaw. The fountain pen is just a focal point. The social context, including the attitude, is being set by other factors than just the FP use itself. Ballpoints might be required by decree (in which case a felt-tip would also not be accepted), because of bleed-through, a degree of permanence (in which case most FP ink would be regarded more or less like writing in pencil), desire for water resistance (pencil is great for this, ironically), or on multi-part forms.

    You are right, Biro is a comment expression in the UK, Ireland, Australia and Italy for a ball point pen, I think due to market dominance of Biro pens in the early days of ball point pen use.

    All apart from my daughter who for too many years called every writing implement a crayon.

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Just answer that your pen was a gift from your grandmother and that your grandfather used it in school. Shuts up most people.

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    "Biro" - For Americans, think in terms of Jello, Xerox and Band-Aid. The first brand to flood the market with its product (i.e., Biro ballpoint pens) risks losing its tradename to becoming just another word in our vocabulary.

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    Default Re: Animosiity - why do some people hate fountain pens?

    Quote Originally Posted by amk View Post
    Just had an unpleasant run in with someone I've had to do business with.

    She asked me to fill in a form. Since I had my pens out I used one of them (filled with sensible blue-black Quink, not some fancy fuchsia shimmer ink) to fill the form in.

    Back she came a while later with a triumphant look on her face.

    "Those stupid pens of yours. You need to use a biro."

    Then delivered herself of the sentiment that by using a fountain pen I am somehow putting myself above other people and being arrogant.

    Has anyone else experienced this kind of animosity to fountain pens? What drives it? I can understand she might have been annoyed that the form had to be completed again - but if it was that important I would have expected her to ascertain the fact that ballpoint was required in the first place.
    Oh, please. What about her arrogance in telling other people what kind of pen to use? Isn't she taking a position of superiority to assume she knows what's best for anyone else, period?
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