Leads are a unique compound of graphite and carbon bound together with a special synthetic resin. This creates an extremely strong lead and a smooth, dense black line.For those who haven't done any (basic) chemistry in a while, graphite is carbon. Specifically, it is the most common carbon allotrope (others being diamond and fullerenes like Buckyballs and carbon nanotubes). There are plenty of other examples of scientific illiteracy or unnecessary flamboyancy on all sorts of products, like the claim I noticed a while ago on some hair conditioner (I forget the brand) that it contained "amino proteins". Since proteins are formed by amino acids, I suppose they can be referred to as "amino proteins", but what is the point? People give science fiction shows a hard time for using jargon innapropriately and poorly, but the sad fact is that it is a much more widespread problem.
Note: As you can see, I seem to have recovered my composure rather quickly and embraced triviality once more. In fact, I think my return to posting actually rests in the fact that I sat down tonight to work on my remaining graduate school applications, an activity that combines immense stress with immense boredom to create what is possibly the most exquisitely unpleasant experience one can have while sitting comfortably at home.