Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 23:00:57 -0700


Subject: Re: ink pen

Like me, Don Lance is a Valley Boy. To clarify my earlier note, I have never

used "ink pen" either, like Don using "fountain pen". However, I remember

very vividly making up my own private mnemonic in first grade (in those ancient

days, most kids did not learn to read at the age of 2), that pen was what

you write with, and pin was what you could stick someone with. So when I

first encountered "ink pen" in East Texas, it seemed a perfectly natural

label which neatly disambiguated the two. The times I have heard it from

Southerners and South Midlanders (if such exist), it has been a seemingly

normal label, not a stressed disambiguator. The first time my New Jersey-

origin colleague here heard it, he interpreted it as an attempt to distinguish

a fountain pen from a ball-point pen.

--Rudy Troike (rtroike[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]