Word of Mouth - Handwriting, remember it?
Today Garry Littman is talking about handwriting.
Hand-writing, yes it was a combination of a hand-held, low tech instrument called a pen which could be applied to vegetal product called paper…
It was popular for many centuries and then almost overnight replaced by the keyboard during the information revolution.
The French are still very attached to handwriting. It is in France where graphology - the analysis of handwriting to reveal a person’s character - was born and surprisingly still prospers today despite being considered a pseudo-science by many.
Even Confucius wrote way back in 500BC - “Beware of a man whose writing sways like a reed in the wind”.
In France in the 1870s, Jean Hippolyte Michon published several books about a new science he called graphology. His books with illustrations explain how script characteristics such as pressure, continuity, letter proportions, the length and angle of strokes or the slope of the writing and the curls at the end of the letters, all create a profile of the writer.
For example, a last letter with no end stroke or curl indicates “a meanness and the brusque severance of social relations”. If your letters slant forward, you are a forward, outgoing person. Wide spacing between words supposedly denotes someone who does not mix easily and is therefore prone to be isolated and lonely. Writers who crowd their words together are so desperate for companionship that they are indiscriminate in choosing their friends.
If a married woman pens her signature with larger capitals on her given name than on her husband's surname it betrays an unhappy marriage. Large, bulbous loops on 'g's, 'y's, that dangle lasciviously below the lines reveal a strong sex drive. One prominent graphologist claimed he could identify potential thieves because they have "acquisitive hooks" on their letters….. and they are therefore likely to snag other people's property."
Many studies have debunked graphology but the French have stuck by it Today graphology is estimated to be used by one in two companies in France during the hiring process.
About a thousand graphologists practise in France.
There are three main professional bodies that run regular training courses. Hand-writing analysis of prospective employees is seen as one of the many valid tools available to companies to pick the best recruits. Almost all other countries say it’s wacky and unscientific along with other ologies such as numerology and astrology.