View Poll Results: How do you handwrite a "4"
"open top" 143 77.72%
"closed top" 25 13.59%
"partially closed top" 6 3.26%
I write it a different way 0 0%
It varies 10 5.43%
Voters: 184. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-03-2019, 12:48 PM
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How do you write a "4"


There are two major ways handwrite a "4," the "open top" and the "closed top." There's also the "partially closed top" or "open back" where it looks similar to the "closed top" version but it doesn't quite connect.

How do you do it?
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:53 PM
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The correct answer is open top, and anyone who say otherwise is most obviously a fascist and/or kitten kicker.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:59 PM
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Currently I write it with an open top. There was a time I did the closed top style, possibly when I was going through my arty phase and crossed my sevens * I also wrote "3" similar to this .


* I realize plenty of people come by that style of writing the number 7 naturally; I however did not. Pure affectation on my part.
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:04 PM
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Open top. As any Spanish child my age plus minus one hundred knows, "a 4 is an upside-down chair".
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:15 PM
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I guess if I wanted to to go with "the I first, and then the V" you’d say I should select the "different way" option? Seems awfully discriminatory toward those of us who still respect the old way of doing things...
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Old 12-03-2019, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ASL v2.0 View Post
I guess if I wanted to to go with "the I first, and then the V" you’d say I should select the "different way" option? Seems awfully discriminatory toward those of us who still respect the old way of doing things...
Go back to Rome, toga-wearer!
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:54 PM
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I write "9" with a curved spine, like an upside-down "6". And I pronounce it "niner".
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Old 12-03-2019, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ASL v2.0 View Post
I guess if I wanted to to go with "the I first, and then the V" you’d say I should select the "different way" option? Seems awfully discriminatory toward those of us who still respect the old way of doing things...
Oh you're such a modernist! What happened to writing four Is as Minerva intended, uh?
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:51 PM
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I find the open top version ugly. Closed top for me always.
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:57 PM
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I use the open-top method, but I should switch to closed-top. Because then I could do it in one pen stroke, which would be more efficient. Maybe someday.....
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:08 PM
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Open top. Don't like the handwritten version of the closed-top 4.

(My printing eccentricities are writing a capital "E" like an epsilon (so like a backwards "3" with the curves), a lower-case "a" like the "a" in most non-italic fonts instead of the usual printed circle-and-line ɑ, and I guess I like to cross my 7s as well.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 12-03-2019 at 09:12 PM.
  #12  
Old 12-03-2019, 09:24 PM
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Randomly one or the other.
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:43 PM
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Closed top, one continuous action instead of 2. But there is of course no one right answer. Lets not be silly.
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Old 12-03-2019, 10:32 PM
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I don't think I've ever seen anyone write a closed top four.
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Old 12-03-2019, 11:35 PM
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I did a lot of mechanical drafting and architectural drawings throughout school and they had a specific script they wanted you to stick to. It included the closed top 4 as well as the snowman 8, flat top 3, and non-looping 2. It just stuck with me over the years.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
I did a lot of mechanical drafting and architectural drawings throughout school and they had a specific script they wanted you to stick to. It included the closed top 4 as well as the snowman 8, flat top 3, and non-looping 2. It just stuck with me over the years.
That is what drafting classes taught me. A skinny British GF taught me to cross my 7s and underscore my 1s, preparing me for US Army commo work. Computer training taught me to cross 0s but now I mainly poke a dot inside. I avoid Mayan glyphs.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:53 AM
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Open top, with a single pen stroke, which makes it liable to become misshapen and look more like a 9.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 12-04-2019 at 03:56 AM.
  #18  
Old 12-04-2019, 04:29 AM
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I was all set to say close top and then I looked at the pad beside me. Its 4 - 3 in favour of open top on there. Who knew?
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:30 AM
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I'll do it either way, depending. Used to do mainly the closed version, but working on the US Census they wanted very specific number shapes on the forms and insisted on the open top four and I've been doing that one more often since.
  #20  
Old 12-04-2019, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Open top. Don't like the handwritten version of the closed-top 4.

(My printing eccentricities are writing a capital "E" like an epsilon (so like a backwards "3" with the curves), a lower-case "a" like the "a" in most non-italic fonts instead of the usual printed circle-and-line ɑ, and I guess I like to cross my 7s as well.)
That's pretty close to what I do, but I like the closed-top 4. I just don't write it that way. My capital E is standard, but my lower case a is just as it appears here, and my sevens(and Zs) are crossed.

Unless someone writes a numeral or letter so that it causes head-scratching there is no right or wrong way.

But I reserve the right to roll my eyes at dotting "i"s with little hearts if the writer is more than ten years old.
  #21  
Old 12-04-2019, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
I did a lot of mechanical drafting and architectural drawings throughout school and they had a specific script they wanted you to stick to. It included the closed top 4 as well as the snowman 8, flat top 3, and non-looping 2. It just stuck with me over the years.
Yep, same here, woodwork at school and engineering drawing at varsity.
  #22  
Old 12-04-2019, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampshire View Post
I did a lot of mechanical drafting and architectural drawings throughout school and they had a specific script they wanted you to stick to. It included the closed top 4 as well as the snowman 8, flat top 3, and non-looping 2. It just stuck with me over the years.
What is a non-looping 2? So that it looks identical to a Z?

Last edited by Hermitian; 12-04-2019 at 08:53 AM.
  #23  
Old 12-04-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
What is a non-looping 2? So that it looks identical to a Z?
You just typed one.

It does not look like a Z, see: 2.
  #24  
Old 12-04-2019, 08:57 AM
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Closed top, one continuous action instead of 2. But there is of course no one right answer. Lets not be silly.
I just looked at some old notes, it looks like if I'm writing quick I leave the 4 open quite often. So mine aren't consistent.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:57 AM
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I was about to choose open top, but then I just mindlessly wrote my numbers and realized I always slant the opening to the four. How closed it gets varies, but it's always slanted. So I went with your third option.

I think it looks better than the fully closed version.
  #26  
Old 12-04-2019, 09:07 AM
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0 - Sometimes I will put a diagonal straight line through it.
1 - Straight vertical line.
2 - Curve, then horizontal straight line on bottom. No loop in the lower left corner.
3 - Two straight lines, then a curve for the bottom.
4 - All straight lines, closed top.
5 - Vertical straight line, curve at the bottom, then a straight line for the top.
6 - I think there's only one way to write a 6.
7 - Two straight lines, then a short horizontal line through it.
8 - Draw top circle, then draw bottom circle.
9 - Circle, then vertical straight line.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Open top. Don't like the handwritten version of the closed-top 4.

(My printing eccentricities are writing a capital "E" like an epsilon (so like a backwards "3" with the curves), a lower-case "a" like the "a" in most non-italic fonts instead of the usual printed circle-and-line ɑ, and I guess I like to cross my 7s as well.)
My capital E is written as an upside down capital F. I go down and over in one stroke, then middle bar, then top bar. The top bar occasionally gets omitted when going quickly.
  #28  
Old 12-04-2019, 09:28 AM
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Back in the dark ages when I was "studying" engineering, I got in the habit of the closed 4, the 3 with a sharp corner on the top and loop on the bottom, snowman 8, etc. Haven't done that in decades. For a long time, when I was living in Europe, I did the 7 with a line through it. Still do, occasionally.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:18 PM
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I have a man who writes my fours for me. You people write your own fours? That's just precious.
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Old 12-04-2019, 01:53 PM
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Convert to trinary logic and base-3 numbering; then 4s will be obsolete, especially 4-track Muntz Stereo-Paks.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:23 PM
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For maximum confusion, I always write that number as 22.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:21 PM
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Opened top with a side order of pie.
  #33  
Old 12-04-2019, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. Mortiss View Post
I use the open-top method, but I should switch to closed-top. Because then I could do it in one pen stroke, which would be more efficient. Maybe someday.....
I do closed-top, because it is easier, because it's all one pen stroke. There are no other digits that require more than one pen stroke (assuming you're not some weirdo who slashes their sevens or threes or whatevers).
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:49 PM
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I do closed-top, because it is easier, because it's all one pen stroke. There are no other digits that require more than one pen stroke (assuming you're not some weirdo who slashes their sevens or threes or whatevers).
True; you can do a 5 in one pen stroke. But it always feels unnatural to me somehow, and never looks proper.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:07 PM
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I learned the open-top method, but my sloppy writing is closer to the partially-open top. It is not a deliberate affectation.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:36 PM
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I was taught open-top, which my dad vaguely disapproved of. He was more strongly against the new-fangled fives. I did them, as taught, in three strokes, starting at the top right, without lifting the pencil. He used the same number of strokes, but started at the top left, went down and around, then raised the pencil to put the top on separately. Sometimes there was a little gap between the upright and the across and often the across had an upward slant.

He said it kept a 5 from looking like an S.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Yllaria View Post
I was taught open-top, which my dad vaguely disapproved of. He was more strongly against the new-fangled fives. I did them, as taught, in three strokes, starting at the top right, without lifting the pencil. He used the same number of strokes, but started at the top left, went down and around, then raised the pencil to put the top on separately. Sometimes there was a little gap between the upright and the across and often the across had an upward slant.

He said it kept a 5 from looking like an S.
Yeah, I do mine like your dad did. Down, curve, pick up the pen and across the top. I was taught in the 80s. I don't remember really being taught right-to-left strokes for straight lines. I'm trying to think of all the letters and numbers I was taught, and all horizontal lines are left-to-right.
  #38  
Old 12-04-2019, 06:51 PM
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I have a man who writes my fours for me. You people write your own fours? That's just precious.
Seriously. Only the little people use closed-top fours.
  #39  
Old 12-04-2019, 08:55 PM
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For me:

0, 1, and 2 are x-height
3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 have descenders
6 and 8 have ascenders

1 has a serif at the top
2 is loopless
4 is closed
7 is crossed
9 is all curved

0, 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 are one stroke
4, 5, 7, 9 are two stroke
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  #40  
Old 12-04-2019, 09:26 PM
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8th grade drafting class... Teacher said "Feed your fours!"

Don't recall any specific versions of the 3 or 2 with him. Just "close the mouth" on the 4.
  #41  
Old 12-05-2019, 09:41 AM
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8th grade drafting class... Teacher said "Feed your fours!"

Don't recall any specific versions of the 3 or 2 with him. Just "close the mouth" on the 4.
How can you feed them if their mouth is closed?

Surely "feed your fours!" would mean they should be open.
  #42  
Old Yesterday, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
For me:

0, 1, and 2 are x-height
3, 4, 5, 7, and 9 have descenders
6 and 8 have ascenders

1 has a serif at the top
2 is loopless
4 is closed
7 is crossed
9 is all curved

0, 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 are one stroke
4, 5, 7, 9 are two stroke
I didn't know anyone still used lowercase numbers in handwriting--just for cool fonts.
  #43  
Old Yesterday, 01:55 AM
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What is a non-looping 2? So that it looks identical to a Z?


??? What ? No! a Z has a (horizontal) stroke through it.
  #44  
Old Yesterday, 04:02 AM
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The 4s that used to be shown on Sesame Street, with a low back and high crossbar, made me uncomfortable to even look at them. The balance was so wrong it made my brain itch. I may have to blame Jim Henson for this, he probably was the one drawing them this way.
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Old Yesterday, 09:15 AM
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I was taught to make an "open topped" 4, which is what I generally do, unless I'm doing calligraphy or drafting, when I'll do the traditional closed top.
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Old Today, 09:10 PM
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I have a man who writes my fours for me. You people write your own fours? That's just precious.
You have a man? I have a eunuch.
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