I love to write and it has been my first love since I can remember.
I have a friend who is obsessed with pens and paper more than I am (which is hard to believe).
Being part American he asked me why Americans have yellow pencils with yellow legal pads. After responding with “because they have yellow school busses?” I explained that this isn’t knowledge I carried around with me about my home country.
After doing a bit of research we discovered there are many theories behind the legal yellow pad but no real facts about why legal pads are yellow. The pencils, however, had definite thought put into it (Have I lost you as a reader already?? I can’t believe this – surely this information has you on the edge of your seat).
The first pencils had Chinese lead, and YELLOW was the color associated with royalty in China. The idea was, that when you use a pencil, you were meant to feel like royalty.
Gives a whole different meaning to that beautiful pencil quote from “You’ve got Mail”:
As we talked about pencils (I know… thrilling isn’t it?) it hit me that there are feelings I wish we could feel for the first time again. One of them was the innocence of getting excited about the “technology” of a mechanical pencil – and how you can carry .05 or .07 lead around in that pencil with replaceable erasers. I remember thinking how sophisticated I was when I got my first mechanical pencil. This feeling just doesn’t exist anymore…
Times have changed where we are in the age of the internet. MySpace was a huge NEW concept – that changed the world for writers and now it is a common thing for many people to have a blog.
The thing is, I still get a smile on my face when I see a sharpened pencil – maybe because I think of all the possibilities of what I could write or draw with it. It’s the idea of possibility that comes into my mind when I see a pencil of unspoken words and thoughts and ideas. I certainly don’t get that feeling when I text someone.
Anyway, the humble little yellow pencil may not mean or be worth as much as an iPad or iPhone these days – it’s still lovely to remember that when pencils was all we had (before all this amazing technology), that the intention of a yellow was to make you feel as special as royalty when you used it. What could make you feel more rich than the possibility of communicating your ideas and thoughts onto paper?
(Get yourself a set of Yellow Pencils here)