How to Write Poetry By Hand - Glossary.

A Micro-Glossary of Handwriting Terms.

A. Derived from the Phoenician aleph (ox) via the Greek alpha.

Angle. When two lines in writing form a pointed V-like shape.

Angular form. Writing shows a lot of angles. Dines says that such a writer tends to substitute intellect for emotions; is analytical, goal-oriented, competitive, determined. Compare with rounded form.

Arcade. A curved stroke resembling an arch.

Ascender. The part of the letter that extends above the body height.

B. Derived from the Phoenician beth (house) via the Greek beta.

Baseline The invisible line upon which we write our words. The imaginary zone on which the bottoms of the middle-zone letters rest. Where the writing balances between zones, satisfying moral and intellectual considerations, while expressing the unconscious drives and the physical energies of the writer.
An upward baseline slant often indicates optimism, joy, or excitement.
A baseline parallel to the top and bottom of the paper often indicates reliability, resolution, and control of emotions.
A downward baseline slant often indicates pessimism, weariness, or depression.

Body height The distance between the baseline and the waistline. Also called the "x height."

Bridge stroke A horizontal stroke that connects or bridges from one letter to the following letter. Usually it is at the top of the as in w.

C. Derived from the Phoenician gimel (camel) via the Greek gamma. G also derives from gimel.

Connecting strokes link letters together. The main types of connecting strokes are:
garland, arcade, angular form, and thread.

D. Derived from the Phoenician daleth (door) via the Greek delta.

E. Derived from the Phoenician he (lo! or behold!) via the Greek epsilon.

F. Derived from the Phoenician vau or waw (hook) via the Greek digamma (which was discarded from the Greek alphabet), and then via the Romans, who converted this letter to the form and sound that is still used today. U also derives from vau.

G. Derived from the Phoenician gimel (camel) via the Greek gamma. C also derives from gimel.

Garland. A curved stroke like a bowl.

Graphology. The study and analysis of handwriting, especially as a tool to analyze the writer's personality. "The Science that correlates handwriting patterns with personality traits" (Vimala Rogers). No scientific measurements are reported in any of the handwriting books. Data appear to be primarily annecdotal.

Graphotherapy. "The behavioral science that invites the writer to take pen in hand and change self-defeating aspects of the personality by altering specific strokes in the handwriting" (Vimala Rogers). The data that correlates details of letter with personality appear to be primarily anecdotal.

H. Derived from the Phoenician cheth or heth (fence) via the Greek eta.

I. Derived from the Phoenician yod (hand) via the Greek iota. Used interchangeably with J in English until the 18th century.

Italic. A script that began in Italy in 15th-16th centuries. It is derived from the 15th century humanist script. It is slightly sloped and compressed.

J. Derived from the Phoenician yod (hand) via the Greek iota. Formally added to the English alphabet in the 16th century. Used interchangeably with I in English until the 18th century.

K. Derived from the Phoenician kaph (hand or palm of hand) via the Greek kappa.

L. Derived from the Phoenician lamed (ox goad) via the Greek lambda.

Letter shape. The correct form of a letter.

Letter size. The height and width of a letter.

Letter slope or letter slant. The slant of a letter. Handwriting typically tends to tilt to the right or to the left, or it is vertical.

Letter spacing. The distance between letters within a word.

Letter speed. The rate of writing (typically measured as letter or words per minute).

Ligature. A combination of two letters, with the second one being created from a part of the first one.

Loops. Some writers put a loop in a vertical shaft (such as on a d, l, or p).

Lower zone. Here are shown primarily the physical and biological, the desires and drives. Includes characteristics that relate to the past, memory, biological needs, unconscious drives, sensual perceptions, and the lower body.
Lower-zone letters are: f, g, j, p, q, y, z.
Dines: Lack of loops in the lower extensions indicate simple tastes, practical, firm, and aggressive.

M. Derived from the Phoenician mem (water) via the Greek mu.

Middle zone or midzone. Here are shown primarily the tangible and daily. Includes characteristics that relate to the present, immediacy, action, expression of emotions, realistic and practical expression, and the middle body.
Middle-zone letters are: a, c, e, i, m, n, o, r, s, u, w, and x.

N. Derived from the Phoenician nun (fish) via the early Greek nu.

O. Derived from the Phoenician ayin (eye) via the Greek omicron.

P. Derived from the Phoenician pe (mouth) via the Greek pi.

Paraph. A flourishing final stroke of an autograph, originally made as a protection against forgery.

Q. Derived from the Phoenician qoph (knot) via the early Greek koppa. Dropped from classical Greek, it was adopted by the Romans.

R. Derived from the Phoenician resh (head) via the Greek rho.

Rounded form. Dines: The writer tends to be charming, gentle, diplomatic, sympathetic, kind. Compare with angular form.

S. Derived from the Phoenician shin (tooth) via the Greek sigma.

Serif. A letter's entrance or exit stroke.

Slant of letters suggests how the writer reacts to environmental factors. In general, a forward slant indicates extroversion, while a backward slant indicates introversion.

Spacing of letters and words suggests the writer's needs for contact and closeness with others. In general, narrow spacing indicates need for closeness and good concentration, while greater spacing indicates preference for privacy, space, and distance.

T. Derived from the Phoenician tau (mark) via the Greek tau.

Thread. A slender line.

U. Used interchangeably with V until about 16th century English, when the sounds were separated and U was added to the alphabet. Thus, U also derives from the Phoenician vau or waw (hook) as do F and V.

Upper zone. Here are shown primarily the intellectual and abstract. Includes characteristics that relate to the future, aspirations (spiritual, intellectual, and cultural), concepts, fantasy, and the upper body.
Upper-zone letters are: b, d, f, h, k, l, and t.
Dines: The taller the upper zone, the greater the writer's interest in the imagination, the spiritual, the philosophical, and the abstract.

Upswing. A stroke at the end of a word. Instead of moving forward, the stroke moves upward, which can slow down the writer. Rogers says that such strokes "block forward movement"; in her graphotherapy world, she means a psychological block as well as a physical block.

V. Derived from the Phoenician vau or waw (hook) via the Greek digamma. See also F and U.

W. A Germanic invention around the 11th century to distinguish its sound from U. Originally written as two Us or two Vs.

Waistline The line along the top of the body height.

X. Derived from the Phoenician samekh (prop) via the Greek xi.

Y. Derived from the Phoenician vau or waw (hook) via the early Greek digamma and the classical Greek upsilon. See also F, U, V.

Z. Derived from the Phoenician zayin (sickle or weapon) via the Greek zeta.

Zones. Three portions of space are used by letters, above and below the baseline on which the letters rest. All letters use the middle zone; a few use the upper zone and a few use the lower zone. Only the written letter "f" uses all three zones.

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