Huh. This article makes an interesting case that it was the ballpoint pen, not computers, that brought about the decline of handwriting.

@lj_writes Handwriting was on its way out even in my youth ... long before the PC was coming out. Somewhere between the forced typewriter lessons and yes. even the cost of ink pens.

@alpine_thistle Is it for the reasons stated in the article, that ballpoint pens require more pressure and put strain on the writing hand?

@lj_writes yeah, and you have to place almost vertical pressure on the point in order to make the ink come out. This is in contrast to fountain pens, where you use almost no pressure and write at a 45-degree angle (it’s supposed to be much better for people with arthritis, for one)

@alpine_thistle @lj_writes Sincere question: How well do fountain pens work for lefties? I always did best with ballpoint, since (a) I had to push the pen instead of pulling it and (b) the ink dried before the side of my hand reached it.

@naga @lj_writes There are a bunch of blog posts about fountain pens and lefties if you want them, but I won’t just dump them on you otherwise lol.

tl;dr is that fountain pens work just fine for lefties, but it’s generally recommended to use a fine or extra-fine nib and a quick-drying ink.

@alpine_thistle @lj_writes My handwriting is too bad for it to be any more than idle curiosity :)

@naga @lj_writes I also have pretty bad handwriting, but I like the tactile feedback of writing with a fountain pen and they also satisfy the “many colors, pretty shiny, take home put in cave” goblin instinct hahaha

I've been really enjoying felt tip pens lately. Less pressure, but similar hand positioning is ok.
@naga @lj_writes

@britvulcan @alpine_thistle @lj_writes Yeah, felt tip just ends up smeared on the side of my hand!


Cursive is the worst, I celebrated when I heard schools weren't teaching it any more.

@lj_writes huh, interesting. Although it also made me go "nooooo...?" for most of it, because I write cursive, I use ballpoint pens (despite learning to write with a fountain pen) and I never had problems with pressure. So... huh?

It might be because I draw and therefore have better control over my writing hand than an average writer? But that still doesn't account for why "ballpoint pen requires more pressure" should be an universal experience.


@annathecrow I think it's meant to be about the average use-case. I'm pretty used to writing cursive with ballpoint, too, but even strains that one is used to and register on just an unconscious level could result in resistance and degradation of handwriting. The article also made me very curious to try a good fountain pen! 👀

@lj_writes @annathecrow I smell curiosity about fountain pens 👀👀👀

Lmk if you want recommendations

@alpine_thistle @annathecrow Ooh, hit me. Some work is coming my way and I should have the funds down the line.

@lj_writes @annathecrow ok so my #1 rec for an all-in-one, no hassle, durable workhorse pen at a good price is the TWSBI Eco. I have a white one and I got Sarah a turquoise one (sadly discontinued) because I liked it so much. It is NOT compatible with cartridges because it has a piston fill mechanism for bottled ink, which I think is better, but YMMV. If you want the convenience of using cartridges, I’d go with the Pilot Metropolitan, of which I have 3. It comes with a converter, but (...)

@lj_writes @annathecrow (...) the converter is a bit crap and I don’t use it. The compatible Pilot cartridges are very decent, but of course that creates plastic waste. I like to refill them with a syringe but that’s a whole other topic.

The Eco comes in a greater range of nib sizes, but FYI they use Western sizing so a Fine nib would be about the same as a Japanese Medium. The Metro uses Japanese sizing and comes in either F or M.

tl;dr Metro if you want to use cartridges, Eco if you don’t

@alpine_thistle I would not have guessed that TWSBI reads as "twisbi" lol. It looks like the turquoise is still available in Asia, if this is the same one you got Sarah. I like this clear blossom red myself. Does it take any ink for fountain pens? Do you ever have problems with leakage?

@lj_writes that’s the one! It takes any ink for fountain pens, but different inks will have different properties. I’ve had really good performance from the J. Herbin inks (Perle Noire is my go-to black) and the Pilot Iroshizuku line. I’ve never had any problems with leakage beyond a few drops inside the cap during air travel or when vigorously jostled around. No inksplosions though.

@lj_writes :D pleased to be the fountain pen evangelist hahaha

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