Why?

“When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen.”

Samuel Lover, 1797-1868

Perhaps I’m one of the few bloggers who remember being taught to write using a dip pen. At school we used a brass nib inserted in to a plain wooden stick. One member of the class was designated as ‘ink monitor’ and would go round the class filling the heavy, white porcelain inkwells that were recessed into our desks.

Writing was not a random formation of letters. We were taught a cursive script, inclined at 30 degrees to the right. Capitals were full height as were the ascenders on h, l and k. The ascenders on t,d and b were two thirds full height. The descenders on j,y, g and z looped back up to the base line, while those of p and q were different with q’s descender flicking up and to the right.

Words on a page, especially those that are hand written, hold a certain magic, as they reveal so much about the writer.

This virtual page is my paper, this computer – my scratchy pen.

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2 thoughts on “Why?”

  1. I am also a fan of the scratchy pen. My old school had those desks that flipped up and you could put stuff in them. They had ink wells built in, but we never used them, which I feel is a shame. They were so old looking, it felt like I was sitting in the classroom in the company of ghosts.

    • Ha! I must be one of those ghosts. Even in my day the desks were old, old enough for my parents to have sat at them. Thanks for visiting!

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