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Elegance Or Obfuscation?



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ThreeSixNine

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I have taken ownership of a cache of family history-related documents and, browsing through them, have been struck by the penmanship employed on some of them.

 

In particular, these two interment certificates from Wavertree churchyard, Liverpool caught my eye.

 

The first is reasonably legible even to my untrained eye, but the second is almost completely opaque. The documents are dated 17 years apart, with the more legible one being the older of the two. I wonder whether the the same clerk is responsible for both, and that what we see is the refinement of his art to the point of absurdity.

 

I can appreciate that there is skill and beauty in what the clerk(s) has produced, but I don't think anybody would accept in the present day that the art should be more highly valued than the clarity.

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No offense to the dead or your possible kin, but that second certificate looks like it was scripted by the same folk that made the One Ring in Mordor.

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ThreeSixNine

No offense to the dead or your possible kin, but that second certificate looks like it was scripted by the same folk that made the One Ring in Mordor.

 

Lol. Sauron is alive and well in Liverpool 15.

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That is really interesting. Thank you for sharing.

 

In this instance, I would think the need for clarity outweighs any argument of artistic value. Imagine if all wedding certificates or birth certificates looked like that? We'd have whole generations of kids that don't know how to spell their names.

 

It's almost like that here now anyway, but I digress.

 

+1 for the one ring theory. That guy was definitely a Tolkien fan. :P

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inkstainedruth

That is really interesting. Thank you for sharing.

 

In this instance, I would think the need for clarity outweighs any argument of artistic value. Imagine if all wedding certificates or birth certificates looked like that? We'd have whole generations of kids that don't know how to spell their names.

 

It's almost like that here now anyway, but I digress.

 

+1 for the one ring theory. That guy was definitely a Tolkien fan. :P

 

It could be worse. Some friends of ours named their first born "Otto" (well, *I* wouldn't have, here in 21st Century America -- having grown up with a non-popular name) but I guess he got named for some great-grandfather or something). The problem was that the nurse either misheard what she was told or was just an idiot. So imagine the parents' chagrin irritation when the birth certificate -- the OFFICIAL record -- listed the kid's name as being "Auto".... :headsmack:

Took them several months to get that fixed.

I hadn't looked at the second picture closely at first. Yep, definitely looks like old JRR himself wrote it. ;) On the enlargement, it's clearly stamped as May 1953 (trying to remember if the LoTR books were published by them). It's either that or someone was taking a calligraphy class and went a little overboard in his/her practice of Irish uncials: it's more flourish-y and hard to read than the image I found online of The Book of Kells -- and THAT was written in Latin, IIRC....

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

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