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Picture Sample Of My Handwriting. What Style Is It? How To Improve? What Method?



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Hi Jim :) I'm not a handwriting expert by any stretch, but here's an attempt at your questions.

 

What style is this?

 

Overall your writing looks very similar to my mum's (her handwriting is beautiful). Your upper case T, B and P look a lot like some Palmer Cursive examples I've seen, especially the the way that you loop the back stroke and loop the top of the upper case T. Your small "r" and "d" would fit with that style as well. The upper case A is different in your writing sample though :) Still, my totally uneducated guess would be Palmer.

 

Is it legible?

 

For me it certainly is. I sometimes have trouble reading cursive writing, but yours is very legible to me.

 

Is it sloppy?

 

I don't think so, no.

 

How can I improve?

 

When I first learned, we focused on 4-5 letters every week and did extra practice every day. That was quite helpful. Personally I'd find a style that I liked and then perhaps find an instruction book to practice. On a side note, I would try to use other opportunities to practice as much as I could. For example, if you keep a diary or if you write letters, it's a nice (and hopefully more interesting) way to employ new techniques.

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Hi Jim :) I'm not a handwriting expert by any stretch, but here's an attempt at your questions.

 

What style is this?

 

Overall your writing looks very similar to my mum's (her handwriting is beautiful). Your upper case T, B and P look a lot like some Palmer Cursive examples I've seen, especially the the way that you loop the back stroke and loop the top of the upper case T. Your small "r" and "d" would fit with that style as well. The upper case A is different in your writing sample though :) Still, my totally uneducated guess would be Palmer.

 

Is it legible?

 

For me it certainly is. I sometimes have trouble reading cursive writing, but yours is very legible to me.

 

Is it sloppy?

 

I don't think so, no.

 

How can I improve?

 

When I first learned, we focused on 4-5 letters every week and did extra practice every day. That was quite helpful. Personally I'd find a style that I liked and then perhaps find an instruction book to practice. On a side note, I would try to use other opportunities to practice as much as I could. For example, if you keep a diary or if you write letters, it's a nice (and hopefully more interesting) way to employ new techniques.

 

Thanks for your help and suggestions.

Lately, I noticed that I wrote more evenly and consistent with certain fountain pens than others. (strange?) In another sample, the letters are more evenly spaced and sized, and shaped, which improved the overall look and legibility so much more. So, I'm looking into that aspect. (improving the tools).

Will add your suggestions to my daily practice.

 

Yes. Thanks to another member, I searched the writing archives and found my writing most resembles, "Modern Business Penmanship" 1901 and "Palmer Business Writing" 1903.

Thanks again,

aloha

jim

Edited by AlohaJim
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As someone who often finds cursive quite difficult to read I think your handwriting is quite legible, I can read it without any real difficulty. There are a few less perfect letters but overall I wouldn't call this sloppy at all. It does look to me like you wrote it quite quickly, but I imagine that appearance would reduce with simple practice.

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I'd say it is Palmer or alike and very legible.

 

Improving is easy: read and write. Some would say practice. Not me. It's odd, but recent studies show our brain learns as well by "imagining" the movement as by doing it. Practice alone may enforce any defect. Practice against a reference (copying) will only force you into something that may not be natural for you. Reading manuscript texts whose hand you like and trying to follow the strokes in your mind while reading will help you improve as much as practice alone. Try then to repeat what you saw next time you write. Both combined (reading and writing) can led you to your own script, which is a mixture of everything you like in other peoples' and be more self-satisfied, and in less time.

 

Oddities of the brain.

 

Oh, and another oddity: learning several different scripts at the same time will lead you to learn all of them faster than doing so one by one. And to improve your own as well.

 

And write, write, write (actually or with your imagination): muscle memory (proprioceptive motion memory) is stronger than your will as it is unconscious. You want your brain to "think" in a better script.

Edited by txomsy
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I'd say it is Palmer or alike and very legible.

 

Improving is easy: read and write. Some would say practice. Not me. It's odd, but recent studies show our brain learns as well by "imagining" the movement as by doing it. Practice alone may enforce any defect. Practice against a reference (copying) will only force you into something that may not be natural for you. Reading manuscript texts whose hand you like and trying to follow the strokes in your mind while reading will help you improve as much as practice alone. Try then to repeat what you saw next time you write. Both combined (reading and writing) can led you to your own script, which is a mixture of everything you like in other peoples' and be more self-satisfied, and in less time.

 

Oddities of the brain.

 

Oh, and another oddity: learning several different scripts at the same time will lead you to learn all of them faster than doing so one by one. And to improve your own as well.

 

And write, write, write (actually or with your imagination): muscle memory (proprioceptive motion memory) is stronger than your will as it is unconscious. You want your brain to "think" in a better script.

 

Thanks so much for your help and guidance.

I think you bring up a good point. I write daily, and very carefully, as well as practice. But, perhaps to a large degree, I feel like I'm also just reinforcing how I already write. Similar to practicing a golf swing trying to improve merely reinforces bad habits or form that one already has.

I have been studying other forms that i think will improve various aspects of my cursive. This seems to help me identify where my weak areas are. IE: how certain letters are formed and joined to others, how certain letters have slant changes, inconsistent Capital Letters, etc.

Great input.

Aloha,

jim

Do you have more advice and tips?

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

The key isn't practice, it's fixing your mistakes. It's paying attention, noticing the errors and actively eliminating them.

 

The main attribute in "beautiful" handwriting is consistency and uniformity. Sloppy is mish-mash, whatever-ness. The same letterforms. The same slant. The same spacing. The same baseline.

 

For examples:

"into" t curves differently from the others.

"darkness" ness is squished

"g" is often stretched into aj/cj. "mortal" looks like "moctal"

"peering" sinks below, "there" floats up above baseline.

 

Your cursive is very legible and no means sloppy. Improvements are now these little details. Notice something you don't like. Cross it out, write it better. Fix the mistake. Don't just keep going.

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BaronWulfraed

To add...

 

The "d" of "dreaming" is above the baseline, while that of "dreams" is on the baseline.

"stood there" almost looks like "stood therer" -- that tail on the last "e" misleads.

"peering", "wondering", "fearing", "dreaming" all look like to end with "oj" -- and while "doubting" looks like a "g" -- all five have been dotted, which is what one expects for a "j". What was your source for the quote? Could it have influenced some of this?

 

{Editorial comment: you didn't close " the quotation :) }

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BDarchitect

Hi Jim-

As someone who is currently on a similar improvement mission, I offer the following observations about your letters-

- Take more care on the upper retracing of your 'g' so the return stroke traces directly over the entry stroke, loops down and just touches again on the vertical before it descends into the lower loop. You have a similar issue with your 'a's. That point where the entry stroke stops, returns, and then loops down and back up to the same point doesn't come together neatly.

- Your lower case 'r' sometimes curves back too closely to the ascending entry stroke, making it look like a 'c'. The strict Palmer method would have you do a tight curl at the top of the entry stroke of the 'r' before the horizontal moves right and then down to the baseline, with space from the ascending entry stroke.

- The second arch of your 'm's is generally larger than the first arch, so try to make them the same. And your 'n' arch comes to a point; try to make it more consistent with the 'm'.

- The exit loop out of your 'o' drops well into the middle of the letter and to my eye makes it less legible. I would suggest trying to keep that loop tighter and closer to the top of the letter.

 

In general, though, your slant is pretty consistent, the letter sizes are mostly the same, and it is very legible. As others have noted, stay vigilant to the offending letter forms and cross out the word if you err and rewrite it correctly before moving on.

 

And most importantly, stick to it!

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  • 2 months later...

Hi Jim-

As someone who is currently on a similar improvement mission, I offer the following observations about your letters-

- Take more care on the upper retracing of your 'g' so the return stroke traces directly over the entry stroke, loops down and just touches again on the vertical before it descends into the lower loop. You have a similar issue with your 'a's. That point where the entry stroke stops, returns, and then loops down and back up to the same point doesn't come together neatly.

- Your lower case 'r' sometimes curves back too closely to the ascending entry stroke, making it look like a 'c'. The strict Palmer method would have you do a tight curl at the top of the entry stroke of the 'r' before the horizontal moves right and then down to the baseline, with space from the ascending entry stroke.

- The second arch of your 'm's is generally larger than the first arch, so try to make them the same. And your 'n' arch comes to a point; try to make it more consistent with the 'm'.

- The exit loop out of your 'o' drops well into the middle of the letter and to my eye makes it less legible. I would suggest trying to keep that loop tighter and closer to the top of the letter.

 

In general, though, your slant is pretty consistent, the letter sizes are mostly the same, and it is very legible. As others have noted, stay vigilant to the offending letter forms and cross out the word if you err and rewrite it correctly before moving on.

 

And most importantly, stick to it!

 

This is great!

I will work on these on my daily practice sheets.

Thanks for the super help.

aloha

jim

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To add...

 

The "d" of "dreaming" is above the baseline, while that of "dreams" is on the baseline.

"stood there" almost looks like "stood therer" -- that tail on the last "e" misleads.

"peering", "wondering", "fearing", "dreaming" all look like to end with "oj" -- and while "doubting" looks like a "g" -- all five have been dotted, which is what one expects for a "j". What was your source for the quote? Could it have influenced some of this?

 

{Editorial comment: you didn't close " the quotation :) }

This is wonderful help.

I've added your suggestions to my nightly practice.

Sorry for the late "thank you" as I've been away.

aloha

jim

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The key isn't practice, it's fixing your mistakes. It's paying attention, noticing the errors and actively eliminating them.

 

The main attribute in "beautiful" handwriting is consistency and uniformity. Sloppy is mish-mash, whatever-ness. The same letterforms. The same slant. The same spacing. The same baseline.

 

For examples:

"into" t curves differently from the others.

"darkness" ness is squished

"g" is often stretched into aj/cj. "mortal" looks like "moctal"

"peering" sinks below, "there" floats up above baseline.

 

Your cursive is very legible and no means sloppy. Improvements are now these little details. Notice something you don't like. Cross it out, write it better. Fix the mistake. Don't just keep going.

Your tips are great. I've made a list of things to improve and will follow them on my daily practice.

Sorry for the late appreciation as I've been away.

aloha

jim

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  • 5 months later...
Pointyscratchy

I loved this topic and wanted to hear more from Jim.I read his sample and liked it.Then the other replies although insightful I found crushing, but very helpful.This is the sort of help we need.

 

I have spotted errors of my own that I have had for long time and think; how can I not have seen that before? It's a lot like editing text, I do it for the sixth rewrite and find I have a word- an and or an it or an  I missing that I did not spot but read over the previous five times.

 

The dilemma for all of us is that we don't like it when it is someone else's spots our errors or at least I don't- even though that's the very thing we requested.The criticism was brilliant and detailed, but while I'm glad Jim got it and not me.He's probably taken up astronomy instead now.

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Your writing is clear and legible. Only if you want to practice should you do so; otherwise don't worry about it. 

 

Since you've met the criteria that it's readable, what you write is far more important than how you write.

 

I never heard anyone say, "That Shakespeare! If only his penmanship were better he might be better thought of!"

 

 

 

'We live in times where smart people must be silenced so stupid people won't be offended."

 

 

Coaches Struggle With Using Pronouns

 

 

 

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"sgphototn" and "Pointyscratchy", thank you so much for your kind comments. I've been paying more attention to my writing and it has improved, and, when corresponding, I switch to printing if things get sloppy and illegible. So far, it's working.

 

However, I do wish my writing were as beautiful as others on the FPN. Oh well.

 

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes.

 

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Since this has been revived...

 

I still think it is better to read and then write. Read other people handwriting and check whether it is easy or difficult for you to follow, and when it is difficult, why. Then try to avoid those when you practice. First it will have to be conscious, after some practice it will become natural.

 

For instance, I found myself stopping when reading some words. The dot for the i was off-line and I had to backtrack to figure it out. Ideally one would think of an i as a vertical (or slanted) line with the dot directly above it. If, for any reason it gets way off that imaginary, ideal line, the brain has to reconsider the whole word to make it make sense. This slows my reading and gives me a "feeling" that the writing is not totally OK. That is what makes "good" or "bad" writing for me. You do not need to have a perfect writing (the dot may be slightly off and that will not lead to any ambiguity), our brain can accommodate (is used to) some variation and expects it from Natural, organic "processes", but at some point it becomes too much and gets in the way.

 

I think that gets through the point I want to make.

 

Readability makes the difference, not sticking to one simple, ideal, perfect style. Witness, for instance "modern calligraphy": letters go up or below the baseline, words may be twisted, and yet people see it appealing. Granted, that works for short texts. But the point should be clear: our brain can accommodate (and even learn to appreciate) variation, and it may even consider that variation (if "wisely" applied) a virtue for it makes writing look more "personal/natural" (as opposed to mechanically -non-human- perfect) in contrast with the perfection of books and computer fonts. It might even be argued that some (minimal?) inconsistency is desirable in calligraphy to avoid it looking too "mechanical".

 

I've got facsimiles or scans of works by major calligraphers. What at first sight looks like printed fonts due to their perfection, leads to awe when one suddenly discovers an imperfection and realizes it is actually hand-written. So, in my most humble, uneducated, amateurish, opinion, absolute perfection will make you look like a machine. Absolute chaos will make it unreadable (I'm not so fond of "modern calligraphy" but that's just me). But getting the closest you can to perfection while keeping some minor "imperfections" (the correct proportion would be "Art" -with capital A. not shouting) takes you close to "divinity" (no caps).

 

The actual shape, etc... is secondary. It is -for me- readability that counts. Uniformity is "good" because it aids readability. Letter shapes (width, height, x-count...) are good because they aid readability... but, again, -for me- it is readability that ultimately counts.

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Pointyscratchy

The other thing I think about (agreeing with txomy) is if we consider ourselves scribes in some way, as I think I do, what does that mean?

 

Are our forbears the masters of handwriting, or the poor near slaves who had to copy out religious texts each and every day before print.A lot of monks in a lot of cells slaving away.Did they enjoy it?Take pride in it?Were they allowed opinions and suggestions?

 

In the Steve Jobbs biog he was obsessed with fonts without knowing his forbears were renowned scribes.

 

I'm saying there might be something inside us, some dan memory that we hark back too.But if we could speak to whoever it was passed it too us they might say it was a horror foisted on them.Forty years before the mast of copying out in a near perfect hand.

 

Just a thought.And probably not even a very good one.

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