In praise of the common pencil

Updated: Jul 25

The 30 advantages of the regular flat-sided wood pencil


  1. It never fails

  2. It’s erasable

  3. It writes instantly

  4. It costs pennies

  5. It can be found everywhere globally

  6. It’s been popular for over 225 years

  7. It writes even when wet

  8. It writes on most surfaces

  9. It writes upside down

  10. It writes, draws and shades

  11. It comes in every color

  12. It fits all hand sizes

  13. It’s light and comfortable

  14. Its flat sides provide more writing control

  15. It doesn’t bleed through paper

  16. It doesn’t leak or smear

  17. It comes in up to 18 types of lead softness

  18. It’s safe as graphite isn’t toxic

  19. It obviously shows how much is left

  20. It works for right or left-handed writers

  21. It adds no plastic waste to the environment

  22. It smells good when you sharpen it

  23. It’s the friend of everyone’s youth

  24. It can write in space

  25. It produces a subtle sound when writing

  26. It resists ultraviolet radiation

  27. It can be sharpened in many ways

  28. It’s produced in a quantity of 14 billion annually

  29. It never clogs

  30. It’s a handy table drumming stick

Pencil users of note...

Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, Truman Capote, Susan Sontag, John Steinbeck, Joyce Carol Oats, Henry David Thoreau, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Ulysses S. Grant, George Washington, and yours truly of course.

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