Monday, April 6, 2015


From Kate’s Writing Crate…

           We all remember the stubby pencils we were given in school and the really wide-ruled paper with the extra dashed lines so we would learn where lowercase letters mostly started. Posted on the wall was the alphabet written A a B b C c D d…Z z so we had a model to follow as we copied the letters on our pages. Soon we could write our own words down. A few grades later, we learned cursive, switched to pens, and then the fun began.

          Printing is useful, but cursive is beautiful. I loved everything about writing in cursive. I loved pens more than pencils. I loved all the colors of ink though I mostly used blue and black. I loved the embellishments that made my handwriting unique. And I loved that I could write almost as fast as I thought.

          Everyone’s handwriting should be uniform. We all learned the same alphabet with the same standard letters. Yet once we graduated to cursive, we went our own ways: easy to read or difficult, large or small letters, slanted or straight up. We wrote in ways comfortable to ourselves.

I never thought any more about it than that until I learned about graphology, the analysis of handwriting.

          Decades ago, I was reading The Tightrope Walker by Dorothy Gilman—a murder mystery that starts with a written clue found hidden inside a hurdy-gurdy. Needing more information than just the words in the note, the lead character decides a graphologist’s opinion would be helpful.

          I had never heard of a graphologist, but I thought it was a fascinating profession. After I finished the book, I looked up graphologists to see if there were any nearby. There were five in the closest big city and one was a woman so I called her.

          I explained to her that I had just finished a book with a graphologist as a character and that I was interested in learning more about graphology. As most people do when they are passionate about a topic, she started to explain what she did. I asked her how she was trained, who hired her, and what she could tell about people she’d never met.

We talked for about twenty minutes. Then she said she would examine my handwriting if I filled out a form and mailed it back to her which I did. Her analysis was spot on and I was hooked. I signed up for a class on graphology immediately and bought books on the subject. I learned how to “read” handwriting. Graphology is an amazing, insightful field of study.

When I worked as an accountant, one of my bosses discovered an embezzler. I didn’t know about graphology then, but I remembered the person wrote with very unusual o’s. They were more like upside down u’s, open at the bottom. I had never seen this before. While I was studying graphology, I discovered this can be a handwriting trait of an embezzler.

The way you write your letters like m’s, k’s, capital I’s, etc. is revealing as is the overall look of your handwriting. Slant, size, and strength (how deep is the impression on the paper) can tell how empathetic, detail-oriented, and emphatic you are among other things. There is a literary trait in handwriting, too—any e’s and cursive lowercase r’s that look similar to a reversed 3.

Graphology is a great tool for learning about character traits in general as well as in people you need to deal with on a regular basis. This knowledge can help you get along better with them.

So dot your i’s and cross your t’s then study how others do the same. The similarities and differences are illuminating.


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