Saturday, September 22, 2018
   
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If only it was still legible

Is it just me or has the computer age completely ruined everyone’s handwriting?

I used to have pretty legible penmanship that closely followed the Palmer Method of cursive that Mrs. Reiber and Mrs. Siegfried taught me at the end of second grade into third.

My words slanted slightly to the right and had all the right loops and curves with letters uniform in shape and size.

I was proud of my precise Palmer Method. While my classmates grumbled about having to write in cursive, I gladly formed those smooth strokes. It was like an artistic outlet for me.

Then in junior high when the independent years hit, I went through the same stage every other tween girl does with the loopty-loop descenders and tiny hearts to dot the I’s. Thankfully, that didn’t last long.

Even after computers took over my life in college, I hung onto a fairly neat scrawl. As I’ve aged, though, things have changed.

I’ve read that graphology experts—the people who study handwriting—can tell a lot about a person from the way he or she writes. They have come to the conclusion that handwriting is a window into both the conscious and subconscious mind.

If your writing slants to the right, it’s a sign you like to socialize with other people. If it leans to the left, you generally prefer to work alone, and no slant indicates you guard your emotions.

Graphologists say if a person closes the loops in their cursive L’s, they’re probably feeling tense, and if they leave a full open loop in their E’s, they enjoy trying new things.

Graphologists also look at the size of the letters, the curve of the connectors, how the S’s are formed and many other aspects of handwriting to figure out more than 5,000 different personality traits.

Weird. Why not just ask me why I write the way I do?

The lines likely trail down to the right on my paper because I’m taking notes while walking alongside someone doing their thing, not because I’m depressed. And I write big because, well, I don’t see as well as I used to, not because I’m outgoing or like the limelight.

Luckily the fact that I mix cursive with printing, leave out letters here and there in my own personal shorthand and scribble when I’m in a hurry doesn’t clinch a definitive schizophrenic diagnosis. In fact, the handwriting experts say that means I’m flexible, efficient and adaptable.

I like flexible. I just wish I could have legible too.