What's the deal with handwriting?

This question has been bugging me for a while, so I look to my fellow dopers to help me figure out the answer.

Why do so many women have loopy, baloon-y handwriting? And why don’t men write like that? Now, I’m not saying that all women have loopy handwriting, but it’s pretty safe to say that if you see handwriting that is really loopy, there’s about a 99% chance that the person who wrote it is female.

Any ideas?


It’s because women are loopy. :smiley:

I would guess it has to do with handwriting standards - when I was in grade school, the women would be critiqued for having not-neat handwriting, while the men could scrawl all over the place. Neat tends to degenerate into loopy, messy tends to degenerate into scrawl.

An extremely amateur graphologist (it’s a bit of a hobby) checking in here.

According to Andrea McNichol in her book, Handwriting Analysis: Putting it to Work for You , large, loopy, garlanded letters mean an extrovert. If the loops are just unusually large in the lower zone (like for a ‘y’), it could mean a healthy sexual appetite (or perhaps are sexually unsatisfied).

Me? I have microscopic writing. Luckily it’s legible, because it’s supposed to mean that I’m an extremely deep thinker (if it was totally illegible, it’d mean I’m deeply disturbed :D).

Well that explains my brother! :slight_smile:

[ul]… **VENUS **
… :D[/ul]

Must be international… men (and boys) around here write in angles and as sloppy as possible (except for a very few) and women (and girls) write all curves and loops (except for a very few like me).

Me, I write “like a boy” (as my friends complain) because I grew up that way, and because I’m too impatient to learn to write “nice” and (to me, disgustingly) curly. Maybe it comes from a woman’s “decoration” instinct… like why they wear makeup (I don’t… not a lot, at least).

Zwei-unspellable-name, there’s a guy around here who writes microscopic too. He uses teeny-tiny lead and carries around a microscope for anyone who wants to read his writing (ok, so I exaggerated that. He carries a magnifying glass.) To make things worse, he’s got terrible handwriting (we joke that his writing looks like a cross between Arabic and Martian).

Hmmm… I remember reading in a graphology book that graphologists cannot accurately determine the sex of the person who provided a handwriting sample. From my experience, most of the women I know have very sloppy, writing – one that would be considered “masculine” by some. I think if you took a random sample, you’d find out that the gender associations we have with different styles of writing isn’t nearly as accurate as we’d think.

Course, we could do an IMHO poll and find out, I s’pose…

I have loopy handwriting, even when I write fast and messily. That’s just the way I am. :o

Hmmm, my handwriting changes over time - it’s a conglomeration of my own, original writing (which was always quite neat back when we had to do cursive and printing) and features of other handwriting that I happen to like. Yes, I am a handwriting thief - if I think you make a really cool “Q”, don’t be surprised if a few months later, it shows up in my handwriting. :smiley:

Currently, it’s kind of a mix of print and some cursive - and still pretty neat.

Yes! I swipe handwriting styles too! :slight_smile: I never had nead handwriting in grade school (bad eye-hand coordination?) but when I started studying Russian in high school, I made a point of learning exactly how I was supposed to write each letter, because I was scared that one missed tail would make the word mean something totally different than I intended. This painstaking care translated over into my English script, making it much neater. Later, I borrowed some style from my mom, who’s always had neat & pretty handwriting, and a few years ago when I started working for a doctor with interestingly illegible handwriting, I copied some of his style. I rarely write in cursive now, mostly a sort of flowing printing style. I like it, but it does get messy if I don’t watch out.

I can type 70 words per minute…

My handwriting is generally neat, which I attribute to my strict adherence to printing only. I never liked cursive, and now I find I’m forgetting it sometimes. This also means I can scarcely read cursive in a hurry if at all, which is why I’ll never be a nurse.

I remember back in the day…well, when I was in elementary school, anyway, there was a lot of peer pressure associated with handwriting. The popular girls had “cool” handwriting, and the less-popular would try to emulate. My goodness, I can’t believe I remember this, but in 5th grade, one girl started making her a’s in the style that you see here on the screen, rather than the more ordinary way. Everybody immediately picked that up. I can think of a few other examples. Anyway, loopy handwriting was considered pretty darn cool when I was 10.

So, this is a WAG, but maybe females often develop loopy handwriting because of peer pressure at the time they are learning to write.

(disclaimer–I don’t write loopy anymore. My “good” handwriting is a very classic style. My “everyday” handwriting is just a print/cursive scrawl)

My handwriting is usually pretty neat, but as my shift at the hospital wears on, you can tell in my handwriting. At the beginning of my twelve hours, my handwriting slants to the right, you can read it easily. As I get more tired, or if I’ve been busy and I’m charting on the fly, my handwriting gets choppy and slants to the left. …and I have to make a conscious effort to make it legible.

Motor skills impairment here, took me many years of practice just so that I could read it, blah. Many more years and now others can read it if I REALLLY try hard.

I write at about thirty minutes to an hour per page legibly, I type at around 90 WPM. . . .

I so love technology. :slight_smile:

My handwriting is actually a rather bizarre mix though, the lower case y’s are all nice and curvy and such with loops on the bottom and what not, and I almost always write ‘to’ in cursive (about the ONLY thing besides my name that I can write in cursive, cursive is evil and I have yet to meet more then two or three people who actually use it on a day to day basis. . . . hard as heck to read!), but the rest of my letters have a tendency to crisp. Not necessarily block, but just crisp.