A technophile lawyer rediscovers the joys of pen and paper

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If the Statue of Liberty were holding an uncapped pen instead of a torch, would the cap be posted?

Since the Statue of Liberty was a gift from France,
I think it goes without saying that if she were
holding a paper tablet instead of a stone tablet,
the paper would be Cairefontaine
I've seen some people rule out pens completely because it is impossible or impractical to post the cap. They can love everything about a pen, but if the cap won't post or it makes the pen top heavy, forget it. That's a dealbreaker.

I was having a chat with someone at the pen show last month about non-posting caps. Her view: that the only people who seem to be bothered by non-posting caps are Americans. Everywhere else, she insisted, people overwhelmingly write unposted.

So, is posting really just an "American thing"? Given that the USA is, according to Wikipedia, anyway, one of only three countries that continues to hold out against the metric system, some stubborn nonconformity when it comes to posting would not surprise me. But it is true?



  1. I'm a non-posting American. It annoys me to mess with posting the cap. It seems much more natural to clutch the cap in my off-hand while writing. That way I don't lose the cap among my papers and I won't lay the pen down uncapped and walk away.

  2. I'm a posting American. I scooted over to the German Pelikan site a second ago and the pens are shown posted. So I would argue against posting as an American thing although I'm not extremely partisan on the issue. The Statue of Liberty is obviously clutching a pad of G. Lalo Vergé de France.


    P.S. Thanks for this great post!

  3. I'm a posting American. My pens--and I have a lot of European pens--just don't seem balanced without the cap posted. Some pens, such as Montegrappas, come with threaded ends which shows they are made to be posted.

  4. Unposted, of course, is how I choose to write. I find that most fountain pens are unbalanced when posting. It's just more comfortable for me. nr

  5. Depends on the pen, the stumpy little Pelikan 205 must be posted. Other pens the balance or length is fine unposted. So, I post some and don't post others. I must say that I don't have a problem with losing pen caps and always thought that was an odd reason to post.

  6. That's easy. If it holds a TWSBI, it would be unposted.

    Well, it depends on the pen. I only post when the pen is either too short or too light and thin. I don't post my Lamy AL-Star or my TWSBI but I do post my Pilot Prera and my Sailor HighAce Neo. The Prera is almost unusable unposted, being so short.

  7. I'm a non-American and I post, otherwise I'd lose the cap completely (I lack the discipline to hold it in my other hand!). I even post with the TWSBI.

  8. Advantages of Posting:

    1. Pen won't roll off table and take a fatal nib-fall (unless the cap has no clip of-course).

    2. You;ll never lose the cap.

    3. Most pens are properly balanced when posted.

    4. Small pens actually become usable pens when posted. (Case in-point; my Pilot 78G's are far too small for my hand un-posted. Posted, they're good writers).

    By the way, I feel your original post has a definite anti-American tone to it.

  9. @Anonymous,

    I was trying to stay neutral on the issue of posting (I'm actually a poster, generally, unless the pen won't allow it) and being tongue-in-cheek about "stubborn nonconformity."

  10. I am a non-posting American. I post three pens... all Noodler's. Maybe it's the difference of growing up on ballpoints vs fountain pens vs rollerballs etc... If you were a person in the habit of posting those light weight ballpoints to give them enough heft... it became habit? Not trying to start anything... just a thought.

  11. I never even knew there was a whole posted/unposted thing until I started searching for pen blogs (I've been a pen & office supply enthusiast for ages, but for some bizarre reason just never thought to look for others -- that's why I'm coming to this post so late...)

    I nearly always post -- I work in a personnel office, and between all the files on my desk and papers I'm shuffling, I just can't afford to misplace my pen and/or cap, or have it roll off my desk. Holding the cap in my off hand is not an option if I need to stop writing and start doing data entry on the computer quickly. I think I always looked at it as a way to not lose the cap, and so it became habit.