Sunday, April 11, 2010


My casual handwriting is a careless derivation from chancery cursive; written quickly, it resembles Arabic, ancient Egyptian Demotic or Roman cursive.

Yes, Rome, that distant, lost civilization, so very different to our own. For example, this bit of high culture, from a Roman play:

(Man trying to read letter illegibly written by another): "A chicken’s hand was it? A chicken surely scratched these marks…" (Var. trans. as: "...[D]o even hens have hands like these? For indeed a hen wrote these letters.")

That's "I can't read these chicken-scratches." Or, "Nam has quidem gallina scripsit." Gallina scripsit, indeed.

I should have notepaper printed up with that as the heading.


Anonymous said...

When my handwriting is neat, it is minuscule. When it is big enough to read without a magnifier, it usually isn't worth the trouble.

Maybe I'm just shy, imagine.


Stranger said...

I suspect the decline of handwriting has something to do with the spread of what is ironically called "public education."

Grandfather wrote a beautiful copperplate script, even though he only had five years of "six weeks school."

My father finished ten years of "six months school," and could also give lessons in penmanship.

Me? My secretary can read my scrawl but my wife cannot.


Chuckle, the WV is hamite. Which would make a triad with shemite and japethite.

Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

Latin makes everything seem more impressive.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of copperplate, that is something I'd like to learn. That and that unfailingly elegant style seen on engineering drawings.


collin said...

Quite interesting post. I liked it. Are you aware that handwriting reflects once true personality?

Take the Handwriting Analysis Test and find out your personality on the basis of your handwriting.

Roberta X said...

"...Take the spambot analysis test..."

No clickee linkee, friends.

Roberta X said...


IAMPETH is your friend! Instruction in both Copperplate and Spencerian will be found at the link.

I thought I knew about pens but the offset (and highly flexible nib) used for some of this work was a new one one me.

Anonymous said...

(Sorry for going off-topic, but I couldn't get your comments gizmo at the Retrotechnologist blog to work.)

If you are ever in the Northeast and you can time it to do the "Your Hand on the Throttle" course, it is a lot of fun, if your idea of "fun is running a steam locomotive.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Roberta, once my schedule calms down a little I'll have a deeper look through that site.