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]