What Are Your Handwriting Idiosyncrasies?

Third time’s a charm! Farking hamsters … grumble, grumble.

While posting in the “How’s your handwriting?” thread it occurred to me that, when compared to other peoples’ style, I probably have a few idiosyncrasies to my handwriting. Here’s a list of them:[ul][li] My handwriting consists of a printed admixture of capitals and small case. Someone recently told me this was a “military” style that avoids ambiguity.[/li]
[li] I cross my numeral sevens in the European style. This is fairly uncommon in America, but I like the clarity it provides.[/li]
[li] I also cross my zeroes, like the mathematical “null” or empty set. This comes from a long history of copying down alphanumeric serial and part numbers while writing specifications and purchase orders.[/li]
[li] In the same theme of unambiguous letters and digits, I also add a downward hook to all of my numeral ones. While nowhere as dramatic as many Europeans (who can make a “one” look like a “seven”), it is useful to distinguish it from the letter “I”.[/li]
[li] I like to cross my letter “z” as well. This is more for effect than anything else. I like the distinctive appearance it gives my printing.[/li]
[li] When writing out phone numbers, I space the area code and prefix using periods instead of hyphens. This comes from a space saving technique I use on resumes.[/li]
[li] To abbreviate the word “each” on my purchase orders, I write an @ sign with the cursive letters “e” and “a” enclosed instead.[/li]
[li] My ampersand is an elevated and rounded off small capital “E” with vertical lines projecting from the top and bottom (but not crossing through it).[/li]
[li] I superscript and underscore ordinals like 1[sup]st[/sup],2[sup]nd[/sup] and 5[sup]th[/sup] and do this for monetary amounts like $5.[sup]35[/sup] as well.[/ul][/li]So, what are your own handwriting peculiarities? I’ll close by mentioning how one German chap I worked with had the most beautifully precise “copperplate” printing that I have ever seen. It put my own noxiously neat style to absolute shame. His handwritten documents looked like drafting work.

I don’t have many, unless you count plain ol’ “looking like a dog’s breakfast” as an idiocyncrasy.

I tend to put big, fat serifs on my capital I if it is used as the word “I”, or if I happen to be writing in capitals, and it starts a word. But if I’m writing in capitals, and it’s in the middle of a word, I don’t.

My ampersand is the & style, but if I’m writing quickly, which I usually am, it tends to wind up with no curves, and looks like a badly-folded picnic table.

I slightly subscript monetary amounts: $10.oo

Not really handwriting, but I never mark out a word or paragraph in text by circling it job-seeker style. My post office training has gotten me into the habit of using big X’s either side: XwordX. This is standard international postal practice for poorly addressed articles:
137 Elm
XNova ScotiaX

[ul][li] When making an 8, I write an “s”, then slash through it in a completely seperate stroke. [/li]
[li] I also frequently cross my sevens.[/li]
[li] My lower case “h” is an n, with the raised section of the tail shot off at a forty-five degree angle to the right.[/li]
[li]I write with what handwriting analysis books call a lyric, or lyrical, lower case d. This is when the tail of the d curves forward or flairs backwards. Mine curves forwards. [/li]
[li] I make my "g"s as either figure eights or type-writter style, depending on my mood. You know, the kind that are comprised of an upper loop and a larger closed loop at the tail? [/li]
[li] My capital letters are much larger than the rest of the writing, and fairly elaborate.[/li]
[li] I occasionally write “n” as a printed capital letter, though the rest of my writing is almost exclusively cursive, or at least lower-case print. [/li]
My strangest letters are the letters “v” and “w.” A “v” looks like one of those Christian fish sideways, tail in the air, and a “w” looks like two of these fish side by side, connected at the tail. [/ul]

I leave out the little hook part at the top left corner of the letters ‘n’ and ‘m’. I always knew I was writing those letters incorrectly, but only just found out it’s a small part of a much bigger problem.

I was just recently told that the rest of America (and possibly the world) writes their letters and numbers from the top on down. (For example, they make a downward stroke to form a ‘1’, I make an upward stroke.) I thought my friend was pulling my leg when he called me on it, while watching me franticly scribbling numbers for one reason or another, but later learned to my amazement that he was telling the truth. It turned out that the only letters and numbers I write correctly are ‘e’, ‘h’, ‘j’, ‘r’, ‘s’, ‘t’, ‘v’, ‘w’, ‘z’, ‘5’, and ‘6’.

How did I turn out this way? I went to school right here in America, and learned to write at a normal age along with everyone else. I can still remember the sheets they gave us to be filled in with whatever letter of the alphabet we were up to - I’m sure I was doing it right then. When and why did everything go wrong? Does anyone else out there share my problem?

Hmm some of my personal idiosyncrasies.

[li]My lowercase f’s don’t loop back up. They loop up almost to a point then sharply down. If anything comes after the f it is done like starting a new word only without a space.[/li]
[li]I also cross my sevens and I add a hook to my 1’s when I want to be sure someone doesn’t mistake it for an I. (Like I did once when writing down a password. I thought it was an I but it was a 1. Drove me nuts until I figured out my mistake.)[/li]
[li]My capital letters are always printed rather than handwritten.[/li]
[li]I write with my pen in several different ways, just depends how I feel like writing. Sometimes I hold my pen between my finger and thumb, other times I hold it between my first and middle finger. I find it’s easier to draw that way you get better flowing lines. My handwriting looks slightly different that way too.[/li][/ul]

Can’t really think of any others.

I do a funny ‘s’.

Oh, not funny ala ‘haha’…just weird.


That reminds me…I write with my pen contorted into a rather freakish position. The pen goes between the middle and ring finger, with the thumb pressing from behind and the index finger curled up onto my thumb’s knuckle. (It doesn’t look as weird as it sounds, reading over this). I’ve always written this way, and drawn this way as well. It gives a lot of control and can easily shift into being extremely mobile.

Does anyone else write this way?

Somewhat microscopic.

Well what’s with the cursive uppercase Q anyway? I barely even recognize it when I see it, and when I’m writing, I’ll either just print the Q or do a modified version when I do a captial O and instead of looping at the top, on the loop I slash through the middle, then dip a bit under the line and come back up ready to go into the next letter. Why isn’t this the standard Q? It works perfectly.

I tend to write in capitals and my H looks like a back-to-front N.

I write lowercase a with the small loop at the bottom and the stem above it (like it appears here and in most other computer fonts). I abandoned the conventional practice of writing it as an o with a stem on the right in the sixth grade when I decided I liked doing it this way better.

I used to cross my 7s when I was a manager in fast food. My fellow managers complained that they couldn’t tell my 1s from my 7s, so I briefly adopted this practice. As soon as I stopped working there I went back to my old ways.

I usually don’t bother with serifs on my 1s, unless it is to distinguish them from lowercase Ls as in the case of a handwritten username or password. In such instances I will also use a cursive lowercase L so it isn’t confused with 1 or I.

Back in the early 80s, when I was just getting started with using computers I was writing my zeroes with a diagonal slash through them since this is how a zero was rendered on most computers. I thought it looked cool and computer-y. I don’t do this anymore since I don’t do much handwriting anymore.

I tend to underline and superscript ordinals such as 1[sup]st[/sup]. I used to do the same with cents when writing monetary amounts, but I fell out of practice with doing this for some reason.

I use four strokes to form an asterisk, even though three strokes is what most computers use. I know some people who simply draw a little star instead.

My dollar signs have two vertical stems through the middle of the S.

I agree that the cursive uppercase cursive Q looks odd to me, more like a 2. Once I was out of school I started writing it as a cursive O and then applying the stem separately.

If I’m taking notes I always use a pencil.

My initials are M & A - my signiture features the M of (NY) Mets and A of Atlanta Braves.

I am loath to use a ball-point pen.

I learned calligraphy around the same time I was learning cursive. Result is BIG, flowy capitals with small lowercase. In words, few letters connect. I have odd capitals throughout.

Plus I have the lovely little touch of dyslexia where 2 and 6 are always reversed.

I write lower-case Z’s like the number 3, only with the bottom loop below the line.

After I got divorced my signature changed. I have no clue why, it just happened. Now I have the signature of a serial killer!

I always print, and lower-case or capital letters are different only in size. I just use one symbol for each letter, sometimes it’s the traditional uppercase, sometimes lower.

Sometimes my T’s consist entirely of the cross part - no vertical stroke.

I usually write mostly cursive, but the letters don’t always connect, even if they’re formed in the cursive manner.

I always got bad penmanship marks in school, mostly, I think, because I was the only lefty in the class and I never had a left-handed teacher, because once people stopped trying to tell me how to write, the mess cleared up pretty good.

I also put lines through my 7s and capital Zs.

Probably also the result of being lefty–my Os, 0s, and other rounded figures are almost always drawn the opposite way from most of the world.

I also superscript and underline monetary amounts.

I’ve been told I hold my pen incorrectly, usually by someone right-handed, so I don’t listen. The pen rests on the top knuckle of my ring finger, with the tip of the middle finger pressed up against the pen, and the index finger curled around the thumb.

I don’t make uppercase Gs. I make large lowercase gs.

That might be it.

And of course, it would appear that I didn’t learn how to speech English very goodly, either. sigh

I guess in the case of this thread, A picture’s worth a thousand illegible, sloppy & hastily written words