What's up at Ravens March.

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Feeling Fine?

Posted by Dirck on 30 August, 2010

Today I am feeling fine– extra-fine, really. I have felt this way for most of my life, but occasionally this has been changing. With age, I begin to occasionally feel medium, and even entertain occasional thoughts of stub.

I am, of course, speaking of point width on the pen. No one comes here to hear about aliments (at least, not in humans– cat news to follow). Ever since I was a child, I have preferred fine points on my pens for the simple reason that I like to write in fairly small characters, and with a fine pen that sort of writing can be supported and still allow the reader to tell the difference between i, e and c. My correspondents will also, I’m sure, have something to say about general neatness even with a fine line.

My wife, when working on manuscripts (she’s as yet unpublished, but that signifies little in this age of NaNiWriMo), prefers to use small italic points– almost all of her writing is done with Sheaffer calligraphy pens.  Her reasons sound much the same as mine, as she maintains a thick line hides lack of precision in the line’s direction.  We both think our writing looks neater.

I could claim some superiority for my position, in that the really fine points use less ink.  However, my recent revision of my position (as can be seen from the increasing frequency with which I use pens like the one on 17 August) is founded in the urge to splash more ink around.  The wider points show off ink rather better.  They’re cool.

What got me started on this line of thought were some recent threads on pen fanciers’ boards discussing not just the relative merits of thin and thick points, and the diversity of opinion between makers as to what constitutes “fine” or “broad” sizes.  If one is to say, “I need an extra-large shirt,” the results from store to store are a lot more consistent than if one says, “I should like a pen with a medium point.”  In general, Asian makers tend towards thinner standards than European, and older pens are rather thinner than modern.  Because of this, there is a lot of grumbling amongst pickier pen users (“My medium Pelikan is WAY thicker than my bold Pilot!  The maker of whichever one I got second is stupid!“) and a certain amount of despair in pen sellers– have a look at this comparative chart from a British retailer, or this one from a notable pen restorer in the US, both efforts to show the prospective buyer what their pen will actually write like.  Today’s pen I would rate as extra-fine based on its writing, but the box declares it to be a fine (look closely at the lower right side of this picture).  It’s baffling.

I decline, given the current time remaining today, to contemplate the effects of different papers and inks in this line.  Just the thought of trying makes me feel all thick.  I can only, on experience of decades, suggest that one keep an open mind on pen widths– there’s something to be said for all of them, and the limitations lie mainly in the user (those who take comedy in low places may call to mind their favourite “It’s not how big…” joke at this point).

Today’s pen, a covert extra-fine:  Sheaffer Triumph 330
Today’s ink, hardly able to fight its way to the page:  Lamy blue-black

…and now, as promised, some news about the cat, which is indeed promising:  Apparently having her organs aired out has helped a lot, as she was eating, mobile, and extremely anxious to find some avenue of escape from the vet’s offices yesterday.  I’ve not heard today’s update, but yesterday it was suggested that she might come home in the early part of this week.  My inner tightwad grumbles about the cost, but he’s drowned out by the rest of the psyche’s components with their cheers and huzzays.

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2 Responses to “Feeling Fine?”

  1. Nemo said

    Fine, fine feline news!

  2. […] a very swoopy and stylish pen, which the owner of seem to be mad with delight about.  To further my efforts at enjoying pens with other than a fine point, I asked that the supplied medium point be replaced with a […]

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