[Ads-l] ink pen

Margaret Winters mewinters at WAYNE.EDU
Tue Dec 14 20:37:55 UTC 2021

I once had my fountain pen identified (in tones of awe) by a Southern Illinois 20ish man as a 'liquid ink pin', doubly differentiated from pins and also from ballpoint pens.


Former Provost
Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI  48202

mewinters at wayne.edu

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Tuesday, December 14, 2021 10:39 AM
Subject: Re: ink pen


Nice.  So, parallel to "straight pin", which serves as a disambiguator in
pin/pen merger country and also retronymically distinguishes (straight)
pins from safety pins.


On Tue, Dec 14, 2021 at 7:55 AM Amy West <medievalist at w-sts.com> wrote:

> 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:
> https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/ink-pen-0016179
> "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
> <
> https://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evolution-human-origins/native-american-art-0010736>
> 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

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

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

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