What Your Penmanship Says About You

In case you didn't know (which is very likely possible), January 23 is National Handwriting Day, which for very nerdy reasons makes me incredibly excited — I have a thing about penmanship. To me, it's so interesting that everyone in the country, for the most part, learns to write the same exact way in first grade, yet as time goes on, individuality truly takes over. Everyone's interpretation of the alphabet is delightfully different. Sometimes I get a card in the mail and just marvel at the fact that such font-like scribblings are actually someone's natural penmanship.

The best thing is, I'm not alone. Reddit has a subforum dedicated solely to "Penmanship Porn." (But really, that's not too much of a shock, since Reddit has a subforum for almost everything.) This is the place for people to fawn over the handwriting of loved ones and strangers. Even if you try to emulate the curves and loops, it'll probably be impossible. Why? Well, again, how you write is such a big indicator of your personality. Chances are, you don't know anyone around you who writes exactly the way you do.

First off, let's talk about how handwriting analysis is relevant to your actual career. The study of handwriting is called graphology, and it's actually used to help identify things from general character to actual diseases in the field of medicine. Sometimes, graphologists are brought into hiring firms to help analyze job applicants. Doesn't this kind of sound like a dream job? Why the heck wasn't graphology offered as a major at my college? Maybe I wouldn't have pursued broadcasting, and my life would be radically different and wildly more exciting today.

As today is officially National Handwriting Day, I figured I'd celebrate my lost career path by (poorly) attempting to analyze some handwriting samples submitted by a few anonymous friends (I might use "he" or "she" here or there, but no names!). I tried to base my observations primarily on what the professionals say, but hey, this is a tricky science. Again, I was just a broadcasting major.

I'd like to give major thanks to all who participated, and hopefully those who are reading can find a sample that somewhat resembles their own chicken scratch.

Sample 1:

Letter Size: Small

This is an interesting sample since the letters aren't truly the same. Some of the subject's e's are closed off, yet some are pretty open. While some of the letters are connected, others aren't. This makes me feel like the sample was a bit rushed, which implies that the subject hates to waste time. While the dots over the "i" and the "j" are a little skewed, they're mostly centered. This might mean that the subject is pretty detail-oriented. If it were up to me, I'd say that the subject cares a lot about getting things right, but also wants results fast. This sample is creative and logical, but also seems a tiny bit guarded at the same time.

Sample 2:

Letter Size: Big

This subject's lack of slants mean that she's pretty logical. Her open letters show that she's able to adapt to any situation, and quite honestly, the fact that she didn't move "Anything" in its entirety to the third line proves that she's definitely not wasteful. She makes every space count for something. Based on what I can tell, the heavier pressure shows high energy. Also, couldn't this handwriting totally be a font? I mean, look at it! Every letter looks clear as a bell.

Sample 3:

Side note: Who doesn't wish they were eating donuts right now? But I digress.

Letter Size: Medium

Man. Speaking of fontlike handwriting, here's another contender. Unlike the other samples, this one has a lot of loops, which is exciting. The fact that the o's are open actually shows that this is a private person — according to, a looped "o" would signify someone who's a bit more chatty. Her rounded letters show that she's pretty artistic, and the fact that her letters are connected prove that she's not someone to jump into a decision without a lot of thought. This sample slants to the right a bit, which shows that while she's private, it doesn't mean that she's not open to a few new experiences.

Sample 4:

Letter Size: Small

I'm curious about the amount of space that this subject used. Wide spacing between words symbolizes freedom, and the need to do your own thing. However, starting the sentence in the very middle might mean that the subject is pretty creative about his personal space. The t's are crossed in the middle, which gives off a sense of confidence and self-control. If it were up to me, I'd say that this subject marches to the beat of his own drum, and isn't afraid to think outside the box — in fact, he probably refuses to think any other way.

Sample 5:

Letter Size: Medium

This sample is downright friendly. However, what we should focus on are the "i" dots. This subject dots their i's to the right, which according to Knoji, means that the subject is looking forward to the future and might be a little impatient. In "handwriting," the second dot is nearly over the "n," which tells me that the subject probably has a lot on his plate. Again, crossing his t's in the center shows confidence, and the open letters show that this subject really has a pretty positive perspective on life as a whole.

Sample 6:

Letter Size: Large

I sense a very small right hand slant with this sample, which means that this subject likely gets along with a wide variety of different people, although narrow "e" loops show that there's some skepticism of other people's character at first. While this person isn't paranoid, they're smart enough to naturally tell the good from the bad. Note the soft "s" in "choose," which probably means that this subject isn't fond of confrontations. Some of the jumbled letters, like in "peanut," show that this subject has a lot going on in life. A multitasker? Definitely.

Sample 7:

Letter Size: Medium

What I like about this sample is the fact that certain letters are connected, and others? Not so much. There's also a lot of space between each word, which shows that the subject is definitely independent by nature. Like the sample above, there's a slight right slant that proves that while independent, this subject still loves meeting new people and living life to the fullest. Per Handwriting Analysis, the dashed dot for the "i" in "ship" might hint at some anxiety. Also take note of her I's — her lowercase i's are smaller, and her uppercase I's are around the same size as the other letters. This is a sign that she's pretty darn happy with herself.

After doing this experiment, I definitely think a lot of it rings true. It's amazing what those lucky graphologists of the world come up with, and how accurate this can be. Sure, I bet there are a lot of misinterpretations out there, but I'd like to think that graphology will never truly be a dying art. I mean, sure, we might not be writing as much these days by hand, but we'll always be writing.

I hope everyone out there has a safe and happy National Handwriting Day. It only comes once a year, so celebrate hard.

Images: Giphy; Karen Belz; photosteve101/Flickr