Does it make a difference to analyzing writing if the writer is left handed?
Answer: yes and no! Read on…
The commonest misconception about left handed writers is that they all write backhand.
This is just not true.
A left hander may well write with what looks like a very awkward position of the hand curved over the top of the pen, so s/he can write with a right hand slant. They may tilt the paper to the right hand slant appears.
It really doesn’t matter HOW they do it.
Or they may well write with a backhand slant.
The fact remains that just as many left handers write with a right hand slant as do right handers.
And conversely, just as many right handers write with a backhand slant as do left handers.
When I teach classes on handwriting analysis, I always take along a set of about 20 writing samples stapled together.
When anyone won’t believe that there is no difference in slant between left and right handed writers, I give them the writing and tell them to identify for me which are the left handers and which are the right.
Every one, without exception, gets around 50% correct – which is just what anyone would get if they were just guessing, with no real clues as to the right answer.
Then I give them a sheet with the answers of who was right and who was left handed, so they can see that their selection was totally random and had note related at all to who wrote with their left or right hand.
So as far as slant goes, no, left and right handedness does not show.
A Tell Tale Sign
One tell tale sign (that my students don’t know to look for when examining the 20 writing samples) is the t-bar.
Often a t-bar will be written from right to left by a left hander, instead of the more usual left to right.
When evaluating traits that show in the t-bar it is important to carefully note if this has been the case.
For example, sarcasm shows in a t-bar feathering out to nothing towards the end, although it may start heavily.
In a left hander who writes t-bars from right to left, this feathering will appear on the left end of the t-bar, not the right.
It still means sarcasm, but if the fact it was drawn in the other direction is missed, the analysis will probably be incorrect.
If a stroke looking like this was written from left to right the meaning would be quite different. It would mean someone who has trouble getting started but quickly gets into it once they start.
Dominating, or willingness to take charge, shows in downward slanted t-bars. The right to left t-bar writer will slant them down towards the left, whereas the left to right writer will slant them down towards the right.
The same goes for optimism, for which one of the strokes is an upward slanted t-bar. Again the “norm” is to slant up towards the right, but if you are writing your t-bar going from right to left, the upward slant will be towards the left.
Consider the two traits, dominating and optimism.
If you missed the fact that they were written in the opposite-to-usual direction, you would read dominating as being optimism, and optimism as being dominating.
All that said, not all left handers write their t-bars in the reverse direction.
So when all is said and done, there may be some indications if you look closely enough, that writing was done by a left hander.
But it may have been written by a left hander and not show any indications at all.
However, the slant is never a guide to this.
Do you have a questions about writing? firstname.lastname@example.org
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