The mighty pen

Everyone knows the pen is mightier than the sword. Yet, no monograph has been written on the various powers of the pen. Such a topic could be tackled like this:

The power to defame, malign and blacken: the poison pen, the dipping of the pen in gall.

The power to make unintentional mistakes, to get things wrong, there’s power in that: the slip of the pen.

The power of commitment, the ability to articulate thoughts and record them: putting pen to paper.

The power to preserve irrelevance: the pen pusher. Everyone knows one if they’re not one themselves.

The power to pursue ill-advised liaisons: the dipping of the nib in the office ink.

The power to allow situations to change before the ink is dry.

The power of superfluity, spilling much ink just because the ink is cheap and the pen-flow facile.

The power of thrust, creating ink slingers of topmost precision.

The power to kill insects. The Roman historian Suetonius tells how Emperor Domitian liked to spend hours alone in his study catching flies and stabbing them with a sharp pen, showing how one can practice neutralising adversaries even without spilling any ink, poison or gall.

Finally, the power to cause writer’s cramp from handling the pen too much like a sword.





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