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How have people reacted to your handwriting, italic or not?

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In the doc’s waiting room, I noted a half dozen topics for discussion.  When the nurse read the list, she asked if I had written it, and could she show it to her boss of thirteen years - as an example of legible handwriting.  Lots of laughter from down the hall, but when the doc appeared he said, “It’s not that good”.


And having seen some of the beautiful examples on these boards, I had to agree.


But we had some fun with it and might have dropped some seeds.  I was wondering about the response others might have had from that other world of non-FP.

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A Smug Dill

When the first round of restrictions on being out and about recreationally were newly lifted last year, our government's regulations and tools in aid of contact-tracing were still fairly immature. Restaurants and other hospitality businesses were required to capture the names and contact details of patrons and visitors, but a lot of it was done with pen and paper (and with very lax protection of privacy and information security); and of course most of the time customers are asked to write down their details themselves on either a pad (or book) used by everyone, or preferably loose sheets to minimise the likelihood of interpersonal transmission by touching the physical surface of an intermediary object (as well as slightly better protecting one's privacy).


It was in those days that I got into the habit again of carrying a fountain pen with me when I go out; who wants to be handling the same 20-cent ballpoint pen offered by the venue's management to everyone to use?


More often than not I got unsolicited compliments from waitstaff upon seeing what I've ‘printed’ in somewhat italic script for better legibility; but then it's easy to stand out when almost everyone else is writing with a biro and with little care attending to what they see as an inconvenience or chore.

I endeavour to be frank and truthful in what I write, show or otherwise present, when I relate my first-hand experiences that are not independently verifiable; and link to third-party content where I can, when I make a claim or refute a statement of fact in a thread. If there is something you can verify for yourself, I entreat you to do so, and judge for yourself what is right, correct for valid. I may be wrong, and my position or say-so is no more authoritative and carries no more weight than anyone else's here.

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Occassionally in meetings, someone will compliment my handwriting. I accept it graciously, but I know that compared to many people on these boards, my scrawl is pretty rough. I suspect that the reason that people feel moved to say something is that they write so little by hand that they have either never developed the practice, or it has long fallen into disrepair. Hence even my chicken scratches qualify as "nice".

Vintage. Cursive italic. Iron gall.

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I think my handwriting is (bleep) personally.  Imagine my surprise when when someone saw my shopping list earlier this week and complimented my on my 'beautiful handwriting'.  If anything, the comment is more proof of the old adage that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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11 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

It was in those days that I got into the habit again of carrying a fountain pen with me when I go out; who

I also started carrying; it was concealed too. But in Michigan you don’t need a permit - yet. :)

My pen of choice is a nifty little Pilot Metropolitan - 1 mm, but I’ve been tinkering with the thought of that little TWSBI Vac Mini 1.1mm, or perhaps a Kaweco - but I don't think it is available in stub.


Hm, I wonder how many are carrying now - and what their choices are?

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Frank C

I almost always have my fountain pens with me. One of my pandemic projects has been to improve my handwriting. I take one of my pens and write a page or two every day. Over the last three months, my handwriting has gone from sloppy but legible to respectable. Lately, I've been getting many compliments. I can see the difference a little practice has made. 

"One can not waste time worrying about small minds . . . If we were normal, we'd still be using free ball point pens." —Bo Bo Olson "I already own more ink than a rational person can use in a lifetime." —Waski_the_Squirrel

I'm still trying to figure out how to list all my pens down here.

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I get lots of compliments, but I've been working on my handwriting and the like for many years. The issue I've been working on is trying to retain that "beautiful hand" while being able to write reasonably quickly. That's a real challenge. 

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After 40+ years of a proverbial doctor's illegible scrawl, I reanimated the italic handwriting I had used before medical school. The amazed reactions of pharmacists, especially, but also bank tellers and others and the compliments on my handwriting are amusing and gratifying. 



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Once, filling out paperwork at the doctor's office. Not my usual handwriting, but a regressed (mechanical drawing) drafting block print.


Another time long ago, a classmate complimented my handwriting (notes). I don't remember who anymore, but it has stuck with me all these years enough to continue practice d'nealian script here and there.


A different time, the reception desk girls went gaga over the iron gall ink (not the handwriting). "it looks like water color!" as they passed the paperwork around.

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