- Latin America is a pretty big place with lots of variants of Spanish.
- Lápiz is, very generally, used for "pencil" only. So much so that the RAE doesn't define lápiz as anything that is usually described as a "pen".
Please have a look at this helpful forum entry, and this table for the vocabulary differences in the Spanish-speaking countries. The penultimate column contains the common words for "pen". Lápiz is used for this meaning pretty exclusively in Chile.
It's not a gerund. It's a sentence in present progressive tense, and that uses a form of "to be" plus the present participle of the main verb.
The present progressive tense in English is used a lot more often than the "estar + gerundio" form in Spanish. While English generally uses the present progressive for current or near-future one-shot actions, Spanish uses the "estar + gerundio" form if the action is in progress right at that moment, and the progression is of importance somehow.
Asking "¿Estás usando este bolígrafo?" would be a bit pointless, since it would mean that the listener is using the pen right now, while the pen is sitting next to you or in your hand (using este as the demonstrative).
An accented letter in Spanish indicates where to put the emphasis in the word if it doesn't follow the normal pronunciation rule. In 'bolígrafo', if you omitted the accented 'i' it would be pronounced ´boligrafo', but in order to indicate that the emphasis should fall on the 'i', 'boligrafo', a written accent is used: 'bolígrafo'.
why do all the speakers here accent the third syllable in boligrafo, when it is the second which has the accent. I have looked this up, the correct pronunciation of boligrafo is as it is accented, the second syllable stressed. Besides, it is an uncommon word to use for "pen", I believe.
That is very interesting. Does this mean the accent is a (I do not know the right word) a convention or something. And thus does not control the pronunciation? Now that I am asking (and again thanks for the explanation) do accents typically control (again, perhaps not the best word) pronunciation in Spanish?
The accent or orthographic accent is the written mark that is placed on a letter to indicate that that syllable is pronounced with greater intensity. Capital letters are also written with a tilde. It must be taken into account that the meaning of a word can be modified according to the syllable that is stressed.