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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Thursday, November 30, 2006

pen stuff

An old quote came to mind the other day and I looked it up on the web – that amazing source of miscellaneous information. The words were first written in 1839 by Edward George Bulwer Lytton and the whole quote went like this: “Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword.” This latter part was the portion that came to mind and I pondered on it. Of course we know what the quote means but taking into consideration that the sword was commonly carried in the year of its writing and the pen was likely a quill made from a goose feather, one probably also needed a sword as a back up for the feather.

A pen is defined as any of various instruments for writing or drawing with ink or a similar substance. Then I looked up the ballpoint pen on the web and got the whole evolution of writing instruments. From the quill and other pens that had to be constantly dipped in the ink to write, to the fountain pen with its own reservoir of ink and then the ballpoint that stumbled on the scene in 1938. It was an interesting story – to me anyway – and now BIC dominates the market, pretty much worldwide.

Two or more years ago, while in Sam’s wholesalers, I had need of some ballpoints for the house and study so I bought a package of cheapie Paper-mate pens – naturally blue in color – the pen and the ink. There were at least six boxes of 12 pens each in the purchase. So far I have only worn out about a half-dozen of them and the rest are scattered in strategic places around the house and my study. My study desk still contains 3 full boxes of pens – in this case, I would have to say that the pen is mightier than our use and abuse of them.

While in the pen section of the dictionary I noticed the word pencel - a small pennon (a flag or pennant), as at the head of a lance. Then there was pensee (with a little thingie over the first e of the double) – French for a reflection or thought. My discoveries in the kingdom of language are so exciting – I guess you had to be there though. Also found was pensile – something hanging, as a bird's nest. Then I got pensive – dreamily or wistfully thoughtful – about pen words in general.

Other found stuff – a penstock is a conduit for conveying water to a power plant. Penuche is a fudge made of brown sugar, butter, milk, and usually nuts – a sweet word. A penult is the next to the last syllable in a word. Then there is the word penology and one might think this would be the study of pens and I guess it is in a way – but not the writing instrument type of pen.

Striving not to leave any of my penchant for words pending, lest perhaps I’m assigned a penalty for the verbosity and have to do penance for persnicketiness, I do here and now wind this post up – or down – whichever is the most final. Didn’t God do good giving us languages to have fun with? ec


Blogger peppylady said...

Every Thursday I take part in Thirteen Thursday and I blog hop around new blogs which I find fascinating.
This week I start with flitzy phobie and somehow came across your blog.

Stop by and take gander at my blog.

11/30/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

Written with your usual penache....

11/30/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger JunieRose2005 said...


Enjoyed your words post as I always do!

Yes, God did good in giving us all these words to explore and the means to do so! :)

Someone sent me a very interesting math puzzle thingie in an email that has my poor mind in a whirl! I posted it- hope someone can explain it to me! :)


11/30/2006 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You seem to have a PENchant for this sort of thing.

11/30/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

peppylady - Thanks for the visit, come back by the 'patch' any time.

bonita - Thanks, I dare not call it panache myself. :)

junierose - You know that I do enjoy the words. I'll check in on the puzzle but they usually just give me a headache. :)

AC - Yes indeed, a strong inclination, taste, or liking for words would have to be what it is.

12/01/2006 12:12:00 AM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr. Eddie ~ You sure do enjoy words. You would be lost without a dictionary. All very interesting.
"The pen is mightier than the sword."
And that was in the days of swords !!
Hope you are feeling better.No rain
here yet. Miracle was a good story.
Take care, Merle.

12/01/2006 02:26:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

merle - Back then if you said something someone didn't like, you probably had to resort to the sword. :) ec

12/01/2006 03:59:00 PM  

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