Date: Sun, 17 Apr 1994 13:38:35 -0500

From: Christina E Ogburn ogburce[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MAIL.AUBURN.EDU

Subject: Re: ink pen, basement

I have lived in Delaware and Alabama and I have never used the term "ink

pen," however, I have heard older (70's and up) people from Alabama use

it. Also, in both places we (the students) asked whether assignments

should be "in ink."

As for basement, I have always used it to mean the storage area under the

house. Although I use that term, I rarely use it because most houses in

Alabama do not have basements. When I lived in Delaware, most of the

houses did.

On Sun, 17 Apr 1994, David A. Johns wrote:


# This discussion of "ink pen," a term I tend to associate with my

# elementary school days long ago (early '50s), has reminded me of

# the use of "basement" for a school restroom. Was that term used

# all over the U.S., or was it Southern? Presumably it got started

# from having restrooms in basements, but the term was used in my

# generation when restrooms were not in basements.

# --Natalie (maynor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

"Can I go to the basement?" was the normal request when I was in

school in the 50s, in western Massachusetts. In my elementary school

-- um, grammar school -- the bathrooms *were* in the basement. In

high school they weren't, but I'm sure we still used the same word.


# I recall using ball-point as an adolescent (from [AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] seventh

# grade), but am pretty sure I never used "fountain" for fountain

# pen. After about the sixth grade, we weren't allowed to have

# fountain pens (1947 or 48). WWII had pretty much made the

# ball-point ubiquitous. This was in Montana.

# Cheers,


Interesting. In my high school, ten years later, we still weren't

allowed to use ballpoints at all. It was probably the doing of the

local clothing merchants, who got to replace all the shirts ruined by

leaking fountain pens.

Also on INK PEN: I have yet to hear that term here in South

Georgia, even though it is definitely "pin = pen" territory. I get

lots of misspellings like SENSE for SINCE, and my favorite, I'D GO TO


In determining rules for in-class compositions, my students always

seem to ask whether they should write IN INK or IN PENCIL.

David Johns

Waycross College

Waycross, GA