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Why does the man "lick" the percil?

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Apr, 2013 08:30 am
"Why do you make a picture?" asked Surendra.
"As a reminder. Maybe I can use it someday on a sara for a wedding, or on a pot."
"I did not know you could draw." commented Harischandra.
"Draw, model a toy, make a pot, it all comes from the same hands." Mitu muttered as he finished, licking the pencil now and again to keep it strong.

Why does Mitu lick the percil?
By the way, is "sara" a misspelling of "sari"?
 
View best answer, chosen by Justin Xu
RealEyes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Apr, 2013 08:47 am
@Justin Xu,
The passage is incorrect.

Pens are sometimes licked (applied saliva to the ball end of the pen to promote lubrication and continual, unhindered application of ink from the cartridge inside) in order to keep a "strong", efficient and consistent, flow of ink.

Pencils work on the basis of smearing graphite deposits onto the surface of the paper. Licking the end, or any portion, of a pencil will do nothing to improve its functionality.

Sara is a proper name. Sari is a proper name.
Setanta
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Thu 18 Apr, 2013 09:23 am
Before graphite was used in pencils, they were quite often made of lead--in fact, in antiquity, a pencil was simply a lead stylus. Rightly or wrongly, it was believed that licking the end of a lead pencil would make it write more effectively. Graphite was not used for the purpose before the 16th century.

EDIT: I should add that the verbal image of someone licking a pencil was in use until quite recently, long after graphite began to be used in pencils.
0 Replies
 
Doubtful
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Apr, 2013 09:59 am
@Justin Xu,
Quote:
Why does Mitu lick the pencil?


He might be using a watercolor pencil.

http://www.amazon.com/Crayola-12ct-Watercolor-Colored-Pencils/dp/B00006IBOP
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Apr, 2013 07:33 pm
@RealEyes,
Quote:
Sara is a proper name.


It is that, RE, but in this case it's something for a wedding.

Quote:
Maybe I can use it someday on a sara for a wedding


I'm not sure what culture this is from - I've heard of a sari,

a very long wide piece of cloth, especially silk, that women in India wrap around their bodies to make a type of long dress [MacMillan] but I've never heard of a 'sara'.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Apr, 2013 09:55 pm
@RealEyes,
Thats not true Real Eyes. Modern pencils were really invented by the Conte company in the late 1700's. The graphite was mixed with montmorillonite clay and then molded into a long square needle of what they called "plumbago" cause they thought (incorrectly) that it was really lead . ThePlumbago (graphite clay mix was fired at a low temp so it was still quite porous.SO when it was mounted into a wooden stick (the stylus) , it was a clay graphite mix. Licking the pencil, especially the very hard "leads"(those which contain waay more clay, actually dissolved a bit of the clay and allowed the graphite to be more easily released.
Earlier forms were metal stylii in a fashion called "silverpoint" Im not sure what the early silver points were made of but I doubt they were lead because lead wouldnt scratch the surface on which the stylus was scribed. (They usually created a "paper' surface and wooden board surface coated with a plaster (Today we call that stuff "clayboard" , made by Ampersand Company)> You may want to try Ampersands web site , they may have some more detailed information, or else DERWENT or CONTE companies. Im sure they have something on the history of pencils cause I am tapped.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 09:16 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
. . . hard "leads"(those which contain waay more clay. . .


Hmm, I wonder if those kinds of leads are used in plastic pencils, the kind that look like wooden ones, 'cause they don't write as well as the latter.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 09:28 am
A sara could be an abbreviation of sarangi, which is an Indian stringed instrument played with a bow.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 09:53 am
@InfraBlue,
s. There are lots of earth "friendly" pencils that environmental companies hand out as giveaways at trade shows. These are made of recycled milk bottles for their "wood" and use high clay content with recycled graphitic waste from metls refining. Id not advise "Licking" those as they are probably as toxic as the wastes they are made of.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Apr, 2013 12:09 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
recycled milk bottles for their "wood"


And they aren't worth a ****. Comparable in nature to you as an instructor in English, Farmer.
0 Replies
 
 

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