Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 12:38:30 -0500
From: Natalie Maynor maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]RA.MSSTATE.EDU
Subject: Unscientific Survey re "ink pen"
On a whim this morning I asked students in three different classes
whether they used the term "ink pen" and found that approximately 50%
of them did. The majority of the students in the classes are native
Mississippians and are of typical college age. In one of the classes
an older student (probably late 30s or early 40s) said that she used
to say "ink pen" but doesn't anymore. Another student in that class
said that she doesn't use it but has heard it from "older people."
In a different class a much older student (probably late 60s, maybe
early 70s) said that she's never used it but remembers it from parents
and grandparents. One other interesting unsolicited comment was in the
third class. When I first asked the question (whether they use the
term), one girl said, "It depends." When I asked her what she meant
by that, she said, "If it's clear what kind of pen I'm talking about,
I just say 'pen'; if it might not be clear, I say 'ink pen' to make
it clear that I'm not talking about a 'sticking pin.'"
--Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ra.msstate.edu)