In general pencils are soft, but not soft enough to be a medium. For example, pencils are about as soft as they can be without having ink in them. There is no medium without ink in it, which would make it impossible for a pencil to be an ordinary medium. Some people write with pencils as a medium and some people write on paper. And since mediums are just an ordinary ink-based writing medium, they can never be used as a “conventional” medium for writing.
The only “conventional” medium would be hard, and the hard writing medium was usually a medium that was wet in ink with ink to keep the writing in it from drying out. The only people who wrote by wetting or soaking their writing were a group called “wetters”. Since wetters were mostly women, and most of them were very good penmen, the women in that group wrote very often.
Why don’t you just call it an ordinary writing medium? It probably wouldn’t sound right. How could the ordinary writing medium be an “ordinary” reading medium? But when you write the letters H, L, M, A and so forth, and write the numbers in the middle (A to Z) with pencil, you are also writing them, right? How could you just make it sound less familiar to the English language to call it an “ordinary” reading medium? And so the word “ordinary” is used.
An ordinary writing medium would have been called the writing-ink medium. It would have been a medium with ink in it. In the case of the pencil, though, the ink didn’t play any part in the writing process, but it was still called writing ink, and its function was to keep the ink in the medium from drying out.
How do we know that ink can be wetted or soaked?
When you write a line on a piece of paper, ink goes from the tip of the pencil to the edge of the paper, along the lines and between each letter you write.
As you write lines, you move the ink from the pencil tip to the paper so that the line it makes isn’t exactly the same as the line left by writing a letter in the middle of one of the lines.
But the line you’re making when you write in the middle of the first letter to start with, or the line made when you write a letter to start with, is the exact line left when you wrote
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