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Retractable pens are a type of ballpoint pen that have a feature that allows the tip to be revealed and hidden by pressing a button.
In its normal use, the button is only pressed when someone wants the ballpoint of the pen to be exposed so they can write with it. This makes a noise, which varies in tone, dynamic and timbre depending on the size and make of the pen. When the noise is heard repeatedly it can have a psychological effect on the doer or anyone in the vicinity. It has also been described as a nervous habit in the form of fidgeting.
In popular culture
In an ad for Kohl's clothing lines, Jennifer Lopez, who plays a fictionalised version of herself, annoys her colleagues by pen-clicking.
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- "The history of the ballpoint pen". 2002. http://www.cosmopolis.ch/english/cosmo30/history_ballpoint_pen.htm. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
- "Pen-clicking 'should be investigated'". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. April 1, 2009. http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/04/01/2530933.htm. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "Do’s and Don’ts of Phone Interview Etiquette". http://dianegottsman.com/2012/01/dos-and-donts-of-phone-interview-etiquette/. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Pen-Clicking Jennifer Lopez Annoys Her Coworkers". E Online. http://au.eonline.com/news/pen-clicking_jennifer_lopez_annoys_her/261423. Retrieved April 20, 2012.