15 Comments

  1. Apparently that sound is insanely annoying to some people. I’ve got a teacher who keeps (having to) requesting various students _not_to_do_that_…I don’t even hear the clicking, but the fact that she’s had to request it more than once (and this is an adult class) is amazing(ly horrible).

  2. I think it’s a movie tv visual trope. The big bad is going to do something big and bad and it is foreboded by him casually taking at a pin and methodically clicking it and we just know the next few hours are going to be tense, edgy, and moodily violent.

  3. In one of the James Bond films he had a ball point pen that was a bomb, triggered to go off a few seconds after clicking the cap. One of the bad guys intercepted it, who just happened to have the nervous tick of repeatedly clicking on the pen. Everyone knows that Bond is not going to die, but the viewer is forced to spend the rest of the movie wondering when this other guy is going to get blown up.

  4. I suspect that Mark Anderson has a personal bugbear that he assumes everyone shares, and doesn’t realize that other people just think, “What? Ballpoints?”

  5. Basic points:

    There are people who do this clicking as a fidget; they do it a lot and may not even be aware when it happens. There are also people on whom this grates exceedingly.

    So the bad guy is looking for something that will break the good guy, and he’s tried a bunch of things that didn’t work, so now he’s going to try this to see if it works. Based on the good guy’s expression, it might.

  6. I have a co-worker who does this. I didn’t realize it until another co-worker pointed it out. Now I cannot stop hearing it… *sigh*

  7. I saw a movie some years ago called The Astral Factor, about a murderer who could turn invisible. There were two policemen investigating the crimes, and the second-banana guy kept clicking his pen constantly whenever he was on screen.

  8. I bet the guy in the chair holds out a lot longer than the guy clicking the pen will: his thumb will cramp up within the first couple of minutes.

  9. “I bet the guy in the chair holds out a lot longer than the guy clicking the pen will: his thumb will cramp up within the first couple of minutes.”

    Pen-clickers can go hours at a stretch. Have you never known anyone who fidgets?

  10. Fidgeting for hours is one thing: Doing a single repetitive (not simply annoyingly frequent) action like clicking a pen for hours straight is something else.

  11. “Fidgeting for hours is one thing: Doing a single repetitive (not simply annoyingly frequent) action like clicking a pen for hours straight is something else.”

    Fidgeting is fidgeting, whether it’s clicking a pen or something else. Fidgeters can go for hours.

  12. OH MY GOODNESS MY COMP 1 TEACHER ABSOLUTELY HATES CLICKING PENS OR WHEN WE TAP THE DESK WITH OUR NONCLICKING PEN (cough cough this morning 😶). This made me laugh way too hard.

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