These 10 pens aren’t like that trusty ball-point you remember – they’re better

Originally published at: These 10 pens aren't like that trusty ball-point you remember – they're better | Boing Boing

Not really my idea of a philosophical question, rather it’s more of a question of possible false advertising:

pen1 | pen |
1 an instrument for writing or drawing with ink

Inkless pen is an oxymoron. These are metalpoint styluses, not pens.

But, I suppose, it’s like chickenless chicken. Nobody who buys an “inkless” pen should expect ink.


The problem is that dictionary denotations are descriptive, not prescriptive - that is, it describes how it has been used, not how it must be used. Language evolves with usage. An average person can understand the concept of an inkless pen. As soon as enough people refer to that concept using the term “pen” then that is accepted as a pen - the same way a car is not a wagon, but the term car comes from the word for wagon.

To prove false advertising, you’d need to show that they intended for people to think it’s an ink pen. If they blatantly call it an inkless pen, then they’re fine.

Indeed they are. And pretty much nobody calls metal point styli “pens” other than this particular company, which does so as a marketing strategy.

I think it is “false advertising” in the misleading sense, but not illegally so, unlike some Stack Social ad copy.

How many mAh does the 3-in-1 Power Pen store? And why not list storage capacity when trying to sell a storage device? Makes no sense.

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I wrote a check many years ago using one of these metal point stylus deals. It was rejected because the receiver thought it was written in pencil. I suggested they try to erase the writing, an exercise I had done before using the pen for this purpose. The receiver was, in my opinion, too stupid to understand that the point of insisting on pens for checks is not that it looks like pen marks but that it can not be erased, so they weren’t convinced and I don’t think even tried.

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No, I’m going to go with “shitty pencil that doesn’t erase”.


As a lefty this ad has me triggered.

No, it’s a pencil.

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