The Great Debate: Pencils vs. pens

Story by Monica Baltich and Nick Gourdoux

Posted: 10:12 p.m. 2/28/2010

Pencil – Monica Baltich

So they say ‘The pen is mightier than the sword,’ but I’d like to see a pen and a pencil duke it out to see who reigns supreme.

My money is on the pencil.

The pencil is an elegant piece of machinery. It not only can be modified to your desired writing length and is more environmentally friendly but it represents academia and artistic talent.

Place a pencil behind your ear and instantly you look more intelligent. Just don’t ask someone where your pencil is when it’s behind your ear because then all the smart points you just earned go out the window.

When you’re in class, the little doodles on the corner of your paper become artistic sketches. For girls, the pencil becomes a handy hairpin when a hair band goes missing.

Or even break it in half and now you have two pencils. Try that with a pen and tell me what happens.

The obvious plus for the pencil is all the fun accessories that come with it. First there’s the easer.

Unlike the common misconception, the eraser is not there to correct mistakes but is simply there to allow the writer to change their mind at any time without leaving a hideous scribble mark.

Pencil’s good friend, the pencil sharpener, allows you to keep your pencils as sharp as you like them. And instead of the implied nerd factor with a pocket protector for pens, pencils get their own stylish box or bag to be carried about in.

Now for the superhero of all writing utensils, the mechanical pencil.

You get all the perks of a pen without any of the arrogance. Pen users like to think they don’t make mistakes, but pencil users say it’s OK to make mistakes, just use your eraser and no one will ever know.

Pens – Nick Gourdoux

I don’t understand how this is even a “Great Debate.” Pens are the best, hands down. I’ve been solely a pen person for many, many years now. In fact, I think the last time I used a pencil was only because I ate the crayon I was previously using.

Pens write much quicker than pencils, and, perhaps even more importantly, they never need to be sharpened. Sure, pencils have erasers, but I don’t make mistakes. Even if I did, have you ever heard of Wite-Out, erasable pens, or scribbling something out?

While pens are tools of creation, pencils, as Heath Ledger points out in “The Dark Knight,” are tools of death and destruction. You have probably heard of people penning a play or a book, but have you ever heard of someone penciling a novel? No. That’s because it’s only elementary school kids who use pencils, and who wants to read that garbage they write?

As a professional writer, my opinion on writing-related materials is probably more valid than yours, so that should probably put an end to any argument.