Friday, April 30, 2010

HANDWRITING ANALYSIS OR GRAPHOLOGY


Hi folks,

My friend Kari posed some questions and issues about handwriting analysis and I was going to just reply and thought I’d do a post on it instead. It’s much too big a topic for a simple reply. Hope this helps, Kari, and everyone else. It’s very important to be accurate in our facts in novels and stories (and screenplays, but no one much pays attention to facts in movies…)

 My lovely wife Mary, as seen through my big feet. (Us professional photogs call this "framing." I trust you caught the irony there...) You'll meet Mary further down in a little story about felon's hooks and vacuum cleaners...



First of all, to establish the bona fides of handwritiing analysis or graphology--it's a reputable and acknowledged science. It's accepted in courts in all 50 states, and courts don't allow anything that isn't provable or scientific. They don't allow tea leaf reading or horoscopes, for example, or allow dog whisperers or horse whispers to take the stand and present evidence. There are several leading teaching medical schools that have a graphologist on hand to diagnose various diseases and illnesses. I had an interesting experience years ago with a teaching colleague when I noticed a trait in her handwriting and said to her that her handwriting showed she had pain and disease in her shins. Shocked, she looked at me and said that no one knew this, but that she had severe shin splints. It showed in her handwriting through a trait called “stasis.” There are four leading universities at present that offer accredited courses or degrees in the U.S. In many western European universities, if you get a degree in psychology, you're required to take a course in graphologhy to obtain your degree. It's a bona fide, legally-accepted science. There are provable tenets, in other words. And, there are three things you cannot tell by handwriting analysis: age, sex, and handedness. Those are all old wives' tales. Also, I'd beware of Internet sources for facts, particularly Wikipedia. Those are notoriously unreliable. Anyone can post anything on resources like that and most are just opinion and not to be trusted.

Everybody's handwriting is different. Within a family, a son or daughter's handwriting will often resemble the parent or guardian who was the most influential (not necessary the most loved), but it's still unique to that person.

What most people "think" looks like "male" handwriting is that it's larger or perhaps "sloppier." The fact is, there are just as many women as men who have large or sloppy handwriting. More accurately, large handwriting is a trait of being an extrovert. Sloppy handwriting is often a trait of higher intelligence than average. Small handwriting is a trait of being an introvert. No one trait defines a personality. It takes literally dozens to produce a reliable picture.

“Waverly” handwriting can be an elderly person’s handwriting; it can also be the result of disease or ill-health. It can also indicate emotional illness. By itself, it doesn’t indicate age at all. It also doesn’t matter what cursive system a person was taught by, Palmer or otherwise. It really isn’t “handwriting” analyasis. Properly, It is graphic movement. A person doesn’t even have to be able to write to have their writing or doodles or drawings studied and by the same elements as handwriting is accessed. Children who haven’t yet learned to write can be analyzed with the same traits as those can do write, just as easily.

Your handwriting is your handwriting and it is unique to you. Even if it resembles your dominant parent, it’s still unique to you. There are dozens and dozens of traits that need to be analyzed to give an accurate picture. Just a few include: slant, baseline, margins, spacing, pressure, size, speed, zones, printing vs connected writing, connecting strokes, signatures, the personal pronoun I, and many, many others. No one trait can identify the three things mentioned and even with all the traits analyzed, those three things can’t be told.

If a person is say, right-handed, and loses that hand and learns to write with his left hand, his handwriting will, over time, become the same as the right-handed writing. If he loses that hand also and learns to write with his foot or even his teeth, the handwriting will eventually become the same. Handwriting is a function of the brain and exhibits personality traits. I had a student years ago who had suffered a stroke and had lost the use of her right hand. She learned to write with her left. About a year before I had her in class, her feeling returned and she reverted back to her right hand to write. When I told the class that about it doesn’t matter which hand you write with, if you write long enough with the other it will become the same as the original hand. She gasped and said I was exactly right. The next day she brought in samples from before when she wrote right handed and later samples she’d written just before her feeling returned from her left hand, and a sample of her present writing. All three were exactly the same. That doesn’t mean the day after she lost use of her right hand, her left-handed handwriting was the same—that’s impossible. But, after about a year of writing with her left it had gradually returned to the same handwriting she had produced with her right hand.

The thing I felt was wrong in the book I mentioned was that the character professed his take on handwriting as “fact” and it was absolutely wrong. That this guy was a detective compounded the error. He didn’t say he “thought” his dead girlfriend’s hair seemed longer; he stated it as an absolute fact that it was. That’s different than a character giving an incorrect opinion. He observed the dead woman and reported what he “saw.” Which was impossible. Hair does not grow after the body dies. Impossible. And, what made it worse was that he didn’t say it grew a tiny bit—he indicated it had grown a lot, had been growing for the two years since she had died. And, then, this same character interpreted a handwriting example as being “male” and then from an “older” person. Neither are possible to determine. This ruined this character’s reliability for me and ruined the book as well and probably will keep me from reading any more of this writer’s books. These are extremely easy facts to research and verify (not from Wikipedia, sorry!). In fact, if anyone’s interested a good source to begin a study of the science is Andrea McNichol’s Handwriting Analysis: Putting it to Work for You. It’s very accessible and easy to understand. Andrea teaches the subject at USC and has solved hundreds of crimes for law enforcement agencies through graphology, including the legitimacy of the Howard Hughes will, the Ted Bundy murders, the Hitler Diaries, and the Billionaire Boys Club case. She’s regularly called in to solve in-house theft by Fortune 500 companies.

In fact, most people are unaware of this but the majority of Fortune 500 companies employ handwriting analysis of their candidates for middle- and upper-management hires, and increasingly for routine hires. They just don’t tell the applicant. There’s a large firm in Louisville who has the lion’s share of this business, analyzing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of handwriting samples for the business world. If you ever interview for a job and the ask you to just “jot down a paragraph or two about your life goals” or “where you see yourself in five/ten years,” it’s almost certain they’re going to send that sample to the Louisville firm or another like it. They won’t tell you that’s what they’re doing, but it usually is.

Here in Ft. Wayne years ago, I interviewed Barry LaBov for his international company, LaBov and Beyond. Barry’s company pioneered on-hold phone messages and does all kinds of advertising business, such as create jingles for companies for advertising. Among their clients are Disney, Chrysler, Ford, G.E… in short, just about all of the major corporations. Their business is unique, in that their employees not only have be to salespeople, they also have to be musically-gifted. They don’t hire “off the street,” and Barry told me it takes an average of two years to train an employee to where they begin contributing to the bottom line. Who they hire is extremely important to them. He said that because of that, they used to use all the best personality tests and profiling and all the best sophisticated tools available to make sure they hired the right people. Even with the best scientific tools there were, his retention rate for employees was less than 60%. He was talked into hiring handwriting analysis on his hires and was skeptical. But, he swears by it now. His retention rate today is almost 99%. In fact, he said at the beginning they were going to hire a woman who was at the top of all their scientific charts as to personality, prediction of success, etc., and it was between her and another woman who didn’t test nearly as high, but seemed qualified. The second woman exhibited a much higher score than the first one and Barry said he almost didn’t hire her, but he did and he said she’s turned out to be the single best employee he’s ever had. She was promoted to senior v.p. and still is. The other woman went to a competitor and did great for a year and then the negative traits the handwriting analysis had predicted surfaced and the competitor was not only forced to fire her, but pressed charges against her for intellectual theft. Today, Barry says he wouldn’t hire a janitor without a handwriting analysis. It’s so much more accurate than anything else.

Here are some traits that stand out. Keep in mind that some handwriting is occupation-determined. For instance, most folks think doctors have terrible handwriting, barely legible. Well, it is, many times. It’s occupation-related. They write so many prescriptions that their handwriting deteriorates. Engineers, many times print everything (doesn’t matter for analysis if it’s printed or cursive or even what cursive method they learned). That’s because they write lots of memos and they have to be clear. That’s job related. Although, there’s another factor at work with engineers. Many of their personalities tend to be “things-oriented” rather than “people-oriented.” That makes a person who is or has learned to be wary of other people Therefore, many of them print in their casual life as well, and that’s considered a negative trait. People instinctively realize that their handwriting reveals their personalities and when a person prints, you have to make sure it’s not just a job-related habit. It may also indicate a person who doesn’t want others to know the “real” him. A person who not only prints, but always prints in all capitals, is really a person who doesn’t want others to know the real person he is. Doesn’t mean he’s a psychopath or anything; just means this is a person who will probably not reveal his inside self to others until after a long time when he finally feels he can trust them.

Most people hide their real selves. The thing is, they can hide it from others, even close relatives like a wife or husband, but they can’t hide it in their handwriting.

There are several extremely negative traits. One that always stands out is the “felon’s hook.” I can’t reproduce it here, but it’s a writer who doesn’t write the descenders on letters like y or j, for instance. Instead of a loop, like most of us use, it’s more like an upside-down U in the descender. Studies show that over 87% of those incarcerated will exhibit a felon’s hook in their writing while they’re incarcerated. My wife has one that appears in her handwriting when she’s fibbing or lying about something. (She won’t handwrite anything for me any longer, but she doesn’t realize I can tell just as much from her printing. Hope she doesn’t read this!). A few years ago, we had to spring for a new vacuum cleaner which we really couldn’t afford but had to have. She bought one and then spent the first week cussing at it as it didn’t perform like she thought it should. “Take it back,” I suggested, but she said she couldn’t. She got in a no-return clearance sale. “Well, I guess we’re stuck with it then,” I said, and she reluctantly agreed. But, it was clear she hated it. Well, the next Monday which was both of our day off, I went to get coffee and when I got back, Mary was gone. She left a note saying she was just running out to the mall for a little bit. That was all it said. Very innocuous. When she got back, I said, “What kind of vacuum cleaner did you buy?” She was absolutely shocked. That’s exactly what she’d done. She was going to tell me… when she figured out a way to do so without having me have a cow. “How’d you know?” she asked. I showed her her note… and the felon’s hook she’d used for the g in running. That told me instantly she was fibbing about something and since that was the logical thing—the thing we’d been discussing intensely, I knew that’s what she’d done.

In my classes, when I talk about handwriting analysis, I tell my students to write a chatty letter to their best friend and to put in a small lie and I’ll see if I can find it. Just about every time, my batting average is 100% Not 90%. 100%. Ask Sarah F. who’s on here if she’s reading his. We’ve taught together and she’s seen me do this. I won’t reveal how it’s done… gotta keep some secrets. I don’t even read what they’ve written. Don’t have to.

The worst trait in handwriting analysis probably isn’t what you think. The most negative trait is handwriting that looks almost perfect. It looks almost exactly like the cursive writing we saw back in third grade in the books that taught us cursive writing. Now, this can be job-related—if the writer is an elementary school teacher and feels it important to provide a good model for her students’ handwriting, then that’s job-related and normal. What makes it a negative trait is if the writer doesn’t normally write that perfectly and then you observe their writing getting more and more perfect. If you see that happening in a friend or loved one, I’d suggest talking to them. They may well be suicidal. It’s important that you realize that if this is the person’s normal handwriting, it doesn’t mean much. It’s only when it begins to change toward perfect writing. What’s happening is that a person who starts to have thoughts of suicide is a person who perceives their world is out of their control. They feel they can no longer control their world… but they can control their handwriting. And they begin to do so. I told a class I taught this at the University of Toledo a few years ago and a very shy girl I’ll just call K, came up to me and said I was exactly right. (I already knew I was…) She said she’d attempted suicide eight times and had always kept a diary and she knew without looking that every time she got close to an attempt, her handwriting grew smaller and smaller and more than that, it began to get more and more perfect. She brought in her diary to class the next day and shared her story and showed us the places where she’d made suicide attempts and sure enough. In the days leading up to each attempt, the handwriting noticeably got more and more perfect, until the days she tried to take her life (and she really tried—none of them were that “cry for help”) and on that day her handwriting looked like it was traced out of a third-grade handwriting copy book. It was classic. Just passing this on so that if someone you know and love begins writing like this, at least sit down and have a talk with them. You may find you’ll be glad you did.

I can write more on this subject if you guys want me to. If several post interest in learning more, I’d be happy to provide more. It takes about three years of intensive study under an accredited graphologist (there are two nationally-recognized organization, and I was fortunate to be able to study under the national secretary of the most prominent one.). One more story. I taught one time with a woman who was a lawyer and introduced her to it and she was fascinated. The upshot was, she studied the science, became accredited and within three years became a millionaire. How? She formed a company that picked juries for lawyers by their handwriting. She’s more accurate than any other method and she can’t handle all the business. Today, she has three other full-time people working for her and is ready to go national. She’s already well-known in the region she lives in and has more business than she can handle.

I always tell my young students I can give them a way to become a millionaire within three years and I can. So far, no one’s taken me up on it. Takes a lot of work and study. Handwriting analysis is the single most accurate gauge of personality that exists. If that’s so… and it is… then a person who learns the science enough to be certified, could hang out her shingle and cater to one group only and she’ll be swamped with business. An average analysis by a certified graphologist will run from $100 to $500. It takes half an hour to an hour to provide a thorough analysis. What do you think a certified person would make if she opened a business just for women to see what their proposed fiancée was really like? See what his true personality is. See if he’s a liar or honest? All of those things and more are revealed by graphology. Especially women who had been married before and maybe has a child or two and has already been burned? Men, as well, but this is a business I think will attract more women than men. Do the math. How many people do you know would pay to find out the true personality of the guy or woman she or he was considering marrying?

Just going back over your questions, Kari, to make sure I didn’t neglect any of them. You cannot tell a person’s age by handwriting—any age can have wavy handwriting and every age does. You can’t tell sex. Women don’t write a bit differently than men. We think they do when we see writing that perhaps looks bold. Well, just as many women have a bold hand than men. No difference in that population whatsoever. We just think there is, but there isn’t any difference. And, you absolutely cannot tell if the writer is left- or right-handed. We see lefties who learned to write on those desks built for right-handers and we mistakenly think because of the angle they hold their hands that their handwriting is slanted differently. Not in the least. The way the writing slants says nothing at all about which hand they used. If it leans predominantly left, that’s a trait that says this person plays life close to the vest—he doesn’t reveal himself readily or easily to others. Usually somewhat reserved. Writing that leans to the right indicates a person who’s a “hale, well-met” kind of guy. A born salesman. The minute he meets you, he’s your best friend. He’s the social guy. One whose writing is straight up? A person between the other two. Not as standoffish and nonrevealing as the left-slanter and not as forward and as much of a party animal as the right-slanted writer. He’ll become your close friend quicker than the left-slanted one, but not as quickly as the right-slanted one. However, you can’t determine personality by a single trait, but that’s one of the things slant reveals.

Let me know if y’all would like more on this,okay? Those interested in looking at this closer, get Andrea’s book. You can get it cheap on www.abebooks.com. Thanks for posing the questions, Kari. Hope I've covered them okay. I love talking about this stuff!

HoswoawH

46 comments:

Theresa Milstein said...

I noticed that my handwriting has changed over time. When I look at things I wrote when I was a teenager, while I recognize it as my handwriting, it's much different than the way I write now. Other adults have said the same thing.

I also write less than I used to. In college, I wrote about 5 or 6 pages per class. Now, it's just jotting an occasional notes. My "writing" has become typing.

I had no idea handwriting analysis was so pervasive and critical to hiring.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

This is fascinating stuff. I love it. So yeah, write more :)

My husband and son have notoriously terrible handwriting and they are very smart. Teachers don't worry about it nearly as much as we do. I suspect teachers instinctively know some things about handwriting, having taught it so much.

sex scenes at starbucks said...
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Les Edgerton said...

Theresa, good observation. Your handwriting does change... all the time. It's a reflection of your personality and there will be differences on Thursday that weren't there on Wednesday. The primary traits remain the same, and it's still your handwriting. For instance, a person who's just been dumped by a girlfriend may well find his handwriting take on a more upright slant than his former right-leaning slant. When he begins to trust again, his slant may begin returning to a more right slant. That kind of thing.

Sex Scenes (great name, btw!) you are absolutely right. One of the clues that the writer is above average in intelligence is what laypeople call "sloppy" writing. All the traits are based on common sense, btw. A person who is above-average in intelligence thinks more quickly than others as a rule. Therefore, he/she also usually writes faster. Make sense? That means the writing is usually sloppier. When a person exhibits very clear writing, it may mean a person of average or below-average intelligence. Again, you can't determine the personality from one or even a couple of traits. It takes the study of literally dozens and dozens to accurately "nail" a person. In the case of very clear writing, it can be job-related. Many elementary teachers, for example, write like this and it's because of their occupation.

Also, not only teachers, but most people know things instinctively about handwriting. It's why people who really want to hide their true personality from others many times print. They sense that their handwriting reveals their inner personality and they try to hide that. It's considered a very negative trait when the writer not only prints everything, but uses all capital letters. That's a clear warning sign, a red flag to an analyst. There has to be more to determine the personality, but this one is pretty big.

I'll post some more stuff on this. Get Andrea McNichol's book--there are tons of good books on the subject, but this is the best one to start with.

Helen Ginger said...

I used to have beautiful handwriting. I practiced loops and curls and slants. It's now awful and getting worse. Everything's done on the computer. I can type fast, but my handwriting sucks since I now do so little of it. Even my signature has deteriorated. Looks like that would affect how handwriting is interpreted or read.

Helen
Straight From Hel

Les Edgerton said...

Helen, you're right. Your handwriting does change and all the traits you described yours now possessing are all considered very positive traits. So-called "perfect" or copybook writing is generally considered on the negative side. The things you described as appearing in your handwriting these days are signs of superior intelligence. "Sloppy" isn't considered bad at all. It just is to teachers teaching penmanship. In fact, the signs of higher intelligence begin to crop up about a year after the child is taught cursive. The more intelligent the child is, the quicker he or she begins to figure out a quicker way to write. The sooner he or she departs from the style taught, the more that indicates a higher intelligence. Smarter people try to figure out quicker ways to do things and handwriting is no exception. A highly-intelligent person, for instance, combines printing and cursive, writes shorter forms of letters, etc. The "slower" less adventuresome child tends to stay longer with that copybook style. This is a person who follows the rules, is less adventuresome, and is much more conservative--a "don't rock the boat" kind of person, usually loathe to take chances in life. Get Andrea's book and you'll see what laypeople think are negative things are just the opposite.

Everything that happens in one's life affects their handwriting. It's their brain and personality on paper and it changes to reflect what's going on at the time.

Try this: Write on unlined paper something to a friend. Just a chatty letter. When you're done, let me know. Also, take a clean sheet and draw a circle on it wherever and however it feels comfortable to you. When you're done, let me know and I'll tell you something about yourself, okay?

Laura Marcella said...
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Charmaine Clancy said...

This was a great post. I have a couple of different styles of handwriting and I use them at different times - I even have a special handwriting style for Santa's notes he leaves for the kids (which is suspiciously similar to the Easter Bunny's handwriting).

When I'm teaching, I've noticed some students are embarrassed about their writing, they seem to think messy scribbles means they're dumb. I think has come from teacher feedback.

I'll be using this information to think about my characters and what their handwriting says about them - thanks!

Kari Wolfe said...

If I had known you had studied this, I may have had a more guarded comment! ;)

Handwriting analysis has been a curiosity to me in the past, B.I. (Before Internet) :) And your observations in your post are extremely curious. For instance, my father has a very small, all-caps handwriting--and, yes, he does tend to be very guarded in what he thinks and what he says. His career was as an accountant--which also calls for accuracy and legibility so you're also probably right in that part of it might be job-related.

I have always had mostly neat handwriting--people used to comment on it saying they wish they took notes so neatly. These were my physics and math classes--history classes were completely different because I wrote so much quicker.

One other interesting thing: when I was in middle school, there was a girl who's handwriting I loved. We sat next to each other in science class in 7th grade and she would teach me to write the way she did. I think I wrote like that for a while, but I think I reverted to my own handwriting in the end. While her handwriting and my practice influenced my writing at the time, I don't see as much of it anymore. (And no, I didn't admire her as a person or her personality, btw. Just really liked her nice circular handwriting :))

I'd definitely be more curious in seeing handwriting analysis performed. Wish I could send you a sample--I'd be more than happy to be used as a guinea pig :) I do have a tablet PC so while it wouldn't be absolutely perfect, might be for a very interesting post :)

Les Edgerton said...

Kari, I just appreciate your bringing this up so I can yap about it!

Without more to go on, it wouldn't be a valid analysis of your dad's handwriting, but the traits you describe--printed, all caps and very small handwriting--indicate a person who doesn't reveal himself readily to others and is an introvert. That you say he's an accountant, is revealing and goes along with the traits. Accountants, engineers, computer people... those kinds of jobs attract people whose interest lies in "things" rather than people, and their personalities are often introverted and are many times people who don't feel comfortable exposing their true feelings to others. The opposite of the guy who leads the agency each month in car sales! Something that caused him or her to be wary of relationships. In general, however, a person who always prints even friendly letters, is a person who really doesn't want anyone to know the real person inside and a person who goes the additional step of printing in all caps is a person who REALLY doesn't want anyone to know what his true feelings are. Often, a diplomatic type of person. All of us have a "public" persona and a private one and often they are very different. For instance, people who know me assume I'm an extrovert, but I'm really an introvert and my handwriting reveals that. People are shocked to find that out as I have a very different public persona.

In general, I'd say your dad isn't the guy who goes to a party with mostly strangers and becomes the life of the party and when he leaves the party he has ten new "best" friends. I'd say he's more likely at such a gathering (of mostly strangers) to position himself near the fringes of the party at some distance and hold forth with at most, one or two others, preferably those he already knows well. He would be apt to stick with who he came with or a close friend or two. Would that be accurate? Again, it's not fair to offer an analysis on just a couple of traits, but these are pretty big ones. The slant he employs would be a great clue. For instance, if his script slants to the left or was vertical, that would dovetail perfectly with the above observation. I'd be surprised if it was very much right-leaning.

I was a recruiter some years ago for a specialized agency--we specialized in recruiting middle and upper-management from strictly electronic warfare companies--and at that time, there weren't separate tracks for advancement in such companies. We learned very quickly there were "people" people, and there were "things" people. We knew it was a huge mistake to promote a "things" person to be in charge of others, even if he had all the other factors in place. He was bound to fail. A things person isn't happy managing others. He wants to be around his "things," i.e., his computer, his drawing pencil, his calculator. Now, they have separate tracks for each, but then they didn't and companies made big mistakes putting people in the wrong slots. The way we found out which type of person the candidate was, was to find out his hobbies. A guy who designs computer software all day at the office and then goes home and... plays with his computer all night... isn't going to be a good people manager. He's going to flat-out hate his job! That's a guy to put in charge of technical things, but not people. He can do the job of managing, but won't much like it and he'll be much more productive and happy if they give him a promotion that involves... computers! Conversely, a guy who's a "people" person isn't going to want to spend long hours doing sums. Both types are necessary and both types are nice people.

Tiffany said...

I have a lot of Asian friends and encountered tons of Asian students (with the ESL thing) and their handwriting tends to look the same. They always print. Now most of the time, this is for academic things, so it could be nerves, but I'd love to be able to go through some handwritten things by different cultures to see if ethnicity plays a role.

Now I want to change my thesis again. >_<

Ransom said...

So interesting! I have a couple books on graphology (I seem to collect books on a bunch of random topics), but you make me want to get certified!

It's odd, but as a "recovering" engineer I do print most of the time. I'm not sure if that's because people have complained about the illegibility of my writing for so long that I gave it up.

That, and the ridicule for the C in Penmanship in 6th grade. I swear I tried. I just had no talent for the loops and swirls the teachers prized. Maybe my intelligence got in the way?

I did always want to write in those perfect scripts, but I knew I was in too much of a hurry when I actually want to write. I did some calligraphy for art class, and that took tons of time but it did look pretty when I finished.

Thank you for the wealth of information!

Mary said...

You would LOVE Treyce d'Gabriel -- she is a teacher, published author, psychologist, and more. She's been a top international expert since 1987 and the founder of HFT. Her teaching website is www.SolveMyCase.com and her Handwriting Formation Therapy (HFT) site is www.WrittenEscape.com.

She's amazing. Your results match what she says. You'd love her 578 page book called "The Only Handwriting Analysis Book You'll Ever Need" but she has written about 10 I think.

Enjoy

Mary

Jheri said...

I was looking over some of my mom's old love letters to my father when they were dating and I noticed that she uses cursive and print in most of her sentences. She seems to automatically switch. She also will add capital letters where they shouldn't be. Mostly capital A's. Also her lower case y's and g's at the end of a word have a very large kind of scoop. Her name is Carol and she always signs it CaRol with a capital R in the middle. What does all of this say about her?

Kari Wolfe said...

Ok, Les, I can't help it! I just saw in a writing book the author casually mention a detective determining a general age for a person by their handwriting because it wasn't in a Palmer style writing.

While I agree that everyone's handwriting is unique to that person, aren't there traits within the handwriting that the person has learned from schooling and what not?

(Btw, you mention not to use Wikipedia as a fact-checker--I generally agree. It's a good leaping off point though--an overview of material to get you started on your research, if you're going to go deeper. If I'd known that you studied this, I'd have dived a bit deeper ;))

Les Edgerton said...

Jheri, there are several possibilities when a person uses print and cursive. One is a trait of intelligence--the more intelligent the writer, the more they evolve their own system of writing--whatever makes it faster. The other possibility is that the print parts in your mother's letters may be used to keep from revealing her true thoughts. People instinctively know that cursive shows the inner person and so sometimes switch to print for statements they may not be telling the truth in. Just can't tell without more evidence. That she capitalizes a part of her name is a common thing. Teenaged girls (more than boys) experiment with their signatures often to "individualize" it and that's what that sounds like.

Kari, that's actually true. The Palmer method stopped being taught and one can often use that as a clue in helping to determine a person's age. However, again by itself it can't, as there were private schools and other countries that used it longer than the U.S. did. Also, sometimes parents or tutors would teach the Palmer method long after it ceased being used in public schools.

Good comments, all!

The Misses said...
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The Misses said...

I have such extremely sloppy handwriting, that most people need to do a double take or even ask me what I was trying to write. My boyfriend said "I love your handwriting because it's yours, but I've never known a woman with worse handwriting than mine, or such bad penmanship". I am fine with that (I think it's true).

My letters are barely formed (usually unfinished before the following letters), my words are small and fairly close together, if I try to write well I can do so at first but once a thought takes over it's back to sloppy!

My hand used to hurt a lot because I would press down on pens or pencils and I have indentations where I hold the utensils.

My letters slant to the right slightly as well. I usually turn the paper to the left a little to make them more straight, but even if the paper is at a 90degree angle in front of me, it slants to the right.

Over all I enjoy my handwriting, but realize it may very well be the worst any one has seen a female do!

Thank you for perspective and insight :)

no said...

wow this has really opened my mind. graphology and personality analysis has always interested me but this article has really blown me away. I must know more!! I'm saving this page as a favorite and i hope to see more from you in the future! thanks!

clio44 said...

I'm fascinated by this. I've written out a note and a circle, like you suggested in the comments, but now I don't see a comment explaining your interpretation!! Arghhh!! haha, would you mind posting it? :)

emma jacob said...

i came across this post of yours while i was searching information about Handwriting analysis . i found this very informative. I enjoyed reading i t seems some interesting stuff about Handwriting expert . I'm supposed to be somewhere else in a minute but I stuck to reading the story. I like the quality of your blog :D.Thank you for this article.

Emma jacob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emma jacob said...

I adore your blog because I never know about Handwriting expert what I am getting into when I open a new post. You do a great Job, regarding Handwriting analyst Quality content always have a dash of personal life and my next task I collect some more info about Handwriting analysis .Any how Keep up the great blogging and! Good luck with your new project--I hope everything works out for you! Happy 2011 :).

clio44 said...

Please post your analysis of the note to a friend and circle? :)

Graphologyindia said...

According to Graphology my hand writing indicates that I'm separate, cultural and sometimes too sure of myself. Also I'm very delicate and nice. I'm assured and focused, too. Lastly, I'm quite sincere and devoted companion.

mackenzie said...

Why would Barry Labov give a janitor a handwriting analysis? How is it so much more accurate than anything else? If I write a full length paper you can easily see my handwriting change at lease 3 times. I can't help it, it just happens.

Jane Eyre said...

I know this post is incredibly old at this point but I'm willing to take a shot in the dark to ask if you could recommend a place or person where I could get my own handwriting professionally analyzed?

I really have enjoyed your blog!

Graphologyindia said...

Handwriting analysis, or graphology, is the science concerned in producing a personality profile of the writer by examining the quality, personality and strokes of an individual's handwriting. Besides creating a complete personality report, many other things are revealed in your handwriting, such as health issues, ethics, past experiences, hidden talents, and mental problems.etc
Handwriting Analysis

Graphologyindia said...

The Graphology School of India (GSI) was set up in conjunction with The International School of Handwriting Analysis (ISHA) by Mrs. Pradeep K.U in 2011, to establish a firm base for Handwriting Analysis in Bangalore. The college is an independent teaching body, offering training courses in Handwriting Analysis. The GSI offers courses are Beginners Diploma, Comprehensive Course, Evaluated Traits Course, and Master (SSS) Course.
Handwriting Analysis

Graphologyindia said...

Handwriting Analysis or Graphology is a technical method of identifying, evaluating and understanding behaviour through the strokes and patterns exposed by handwriting. Handwriting reveals the true behaviour including moving outlay, fears, sincerity, defences and many others.
Graphology School of India offers Handwriting Analysis in Bangalore.
Handwriting Analysis Bangalore

Graphologyindia said...

Graphology, also called handwriting analysis is a well-researched and validated system of analysis to determine the character of an individual through the study of the strokes of handwriting. Wherever personality is important Graphology has a role to play. Mr. Pradeep K.U is one of leading graphologist in Bangalore.
Handwriting Analysis

Chandra Dsp said...

Nice Blog!!! Thanks for sharing this. Graphology School of India offers Handwriting Analysis Classes in Bangalore. This course is immense for anybody in Human Resources, Sales and Teachers or anyone who just wants to learn and recognize more about their self, people in their life.
Handwriting Analysis Classes

Isha Sharma said...


Hi,
This one is great and is really a good post. I think it will help me a lot in the related stuff and is very much useful for me. Very well written I appreciate & must say good job.

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handwriting analysis



Ashley Russell said...

This is an interesting topic and I hope that you continue to post more on it, particularly sloppy unrhythmic handwriting because this matter applies to myself.

Semen Rendi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manoj Tanurkar said...

Handwriting Analysis is one of the most reliable tools for personality detection. We can also minimise negative traits through Grapho-therapy (practicing certain changes in specific strokes). To spread to awareness of handwriting analysis, we have been publishing bimonthly magazine 'Graphic Strokes' which has now entered 2nd year of publication. For a free sample copy, please visit www.handwritingexplore.com

val weil said...

For those interested in learning more about Handwriting Analysis, join us at the American Handwriting Analysis Foundation. We offer lots of information about the subject, have professionals listed that can help you with your writing, hiring, or speaking needs; and we have some fantastic online meetings that you are welcome to sit in on. For the main organization, check out www.ahafhandwriting.org and for our online chapter check out www.ahafonlinechapter.weebly.com Or, email me 1valweil@gmail.com

val weil said...

Thank you Les, this was a beautiful Blog!

Rose Maria said...

Is handwriting a genetic trait?
Improve Handwriting

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lnhiatt said...

My mother does the same thing, Jheri. I thought the capital A's and R's can be a sign of a strong maternal instinct, which certainly fits my mother.