Blue pens. Of course blue pens. Because they contrast better with the documents you're writing on, which invariably use black ink.
Most recent example: Every so often I glance over a draft of my first chapter that has been sitting in my satchel for a while (usually when I have nothing else to read). This draft was marked up by one of my friend/editors who, for reasons I can't fathom, is partial to black pens. Every time I pick up the chapter, I see another of her markings that I'd missed on previous scans. Why? Because the black pen blends in with the black type-face. If she had used blue, I wouldn't have had to go back to my now-posted chapter to add a comma here, a period there. What good is an editing suggestion if I can't see it? What am I paying her for? (In case you're wondering, I pay my editors in friendship).
Okay, you say. But what if you're writing on a clean sheet of paper? Still blue. Why? Because it's a color. Color stimulates the visual cortex. It stimulates. Color is beauty. Blue jeans. Blue eyes. Old blue eyes. The great blue ocean. A big blue sky. Smurfs.
Black is the absence of color. The absence of light. Black is depressing. It's evil. Black sucks.
Blue pens are better. The choice seems perfectly obvious to me, and yet black pens seem to be the office standard. Half the time I can't find a blue pen when I need one. I have to make a special request through our office manager. My mom literally gave me blue pens for Christmas last year.
It gets worse, because now I'm starting to suspect that black pen dominance does not merely reflect some fallacious though easily correctable business standard. I'm getting the sense that I may actually possess a minority opinion on this issue. Is the rest of the world that stupid?
Let's find out. If you're delusional, cast your vote for black pens in the top right corner of my blog. If you know what's up, join me in voting for blue.
Honor code: One person, one vote. Don't try to be cute and vote multiple times (from multiple computers or what have you). I want a clear and honest winner here. Polls close in one month, on December 19th. Blue!
Addendum: The results are in! Check 'em out.
Alcoholism and Shame
1 month ago