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Black and white, but no longer red all over.

Fewer students are seeing red marks on their papers these days as sensitive teachers adopt purple pens for corrections and comments. It's a coast-to-coast trend, generating lengthy features recently in both the Boston Globe and the San Diego Union-Tribune. In fact, pen makers report sharply rising purple pen sales as a result. Way back in the 1700s, quill-wielding clerks and accountants used red ink to correct their books. Teachers soon followed suit. But now, it seems, they're taking pride in purple.

"If you see a whole paper of red, it looks pretty frightening," Massachusetts middle school instructor Sharon Carlson told the Globe. "Purple stands out, but it doesn't look as scary as red." California high school teacher Carol Jago begged to differ. "We need to be honest and forthright with students," she said. "Red is honest, direct and to the point." Added Paper Mate spokesman Michael Finn, "This is a kinder, more gentler education system." More gentler? Where are those red pens when we need them?

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Title Annotation:Between Tears & Laughter; student evaluation
Publication:Curriculum Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2005
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