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Argentinians making their mark

25 January 2014

biroAren’t there any good pens sitting around the Vatican these days?

Francis is signing something official with a plastic ballpoint pen… I don’t see the cap that most people stick on the back of their pen, unless they’re just loaning it out  I wouldn’t be surprised if Francis had had to ask someone for a pen, and they expected him to hand it back.

Sure, one of the more extraordinary things about Pope Francis has been his unpretentious style and seeming indifference if not outright rejection of bling and extravagance.  Still, I’d expect the this Pope … even if he doesn’t want some diamond encrusted writing implement to at least have a pen in his pocket… assuming the Pope-suit has pockets, to keep a pen handy.  Perhaps a nice Cross fountain pen?

Of course, being a Jesuit, besides that vow of poverty thing, he’s a a well-educated wily character, and not above making “meaningful” gestures… and even more to the point, he’s an Argentinian.

Perhaps he’s trying to remind the world that he’s not the first Argentinian to make a mark on world history… quite a few marks were made by Argentine immigrant Laszlo Biro , who Laszlo-Biropatented the ballpoint pen in 1943.  Although Biro sold his patent to French businessman Marcel Bich in 1949 (who dropped the “h” from his family name in marketing his new product) and the inventor died in 1985, Biro lives on as the generic word for a ballpoint pen in Spanish and most other language.

His  birthday (29 September) is celebrated in Argentina as  Día del Inventor.

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