[Ads-l] ink pen

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Tue Dec 14 12:54:59 UTC 2021

So, I've always understood the use of "ink pen" to be typical in 
varieties of American English with the PEN-PIN merger. But here's an 
instance of "ink pen" contrasting with quill:


"An archaeologist excavating at an 11th century ringfort in Ireland has 
unearthed the oldest ink pen ever discovered in Ireland. . . . The ink 
pen features a hollowed bone barrel and a copper-alloy nib."

Disturbingly, the article author implies that fountain pens existed in 
the 11th century:

"Dip pens have no ink reservoir within the barrel, unlike the fountain 
pens and feather quills 
that were much more popular in the 11th century." That simply ain't so. 
There were the prototypes in its development from the 15th-18th century, 
but it wasn't until the 19th c. that fountain pens became popular.

(And FYI, quill pens would have all or all but the top-most feathers 
stripped from them.)

---Amy West

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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