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  • Writer's pictureVille Tuovinen

A few words about the pen

Updated: Jul 23, 2021












"A pencil is an instrument for drawing or writing on different surfaces... The word 'pen' actually refers to the hollow cane part of a bird's feather, and only later did the meaning of the word expand to include a writing instrument, initially, of course, a quill pen. The original, actual meaning is referred to by the verb pencil."

- Wikipedia, 3.5.2021



I think that definition could do with an update, because for millennia the pen has been a tool for learning, remembering, telling stories. It is with the pen that we write, sketch, create and share the most meaningful things in our lives. Handwriting and drawing are therefore exceptionally linked to memory and learning.


As brain researcher Mona Moisala says in her article Handwriting helps learning, writing is not just an intellectual activity, but a collaboration between the body and the brain. So the next time your child or student complains that there's nothing to do, you can safely hand them a pen and paper instead of a pad or phone. And the same goes for parents. Unless you happen to own a touchscreen device with a stylus pen. That's another story in itself. The future of digital learning.


Yes, the definition. My version is:

"A pencil is a tool for drawing or writing on different surfaces and for learning and perceiving the world."




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