Strange Tales from the World of Handwriting

It sounds like a Woody Allen movie, but it’s true … A bank robbery failed because of the robber’s illegible hold-up note.

And if you thought your handwriting teachers were tough, be glad you didn’t go to
this school

A sign of the future?×427.jpg

Hypocrites’ Corner:
A Missouri judge once stated in writing that he would reject illegibly signed legal paperwork.He signed his statement illegibly.

What should one do, I wonder, when the person whose handwriting absolutely needs to be read has provided only a scribble?

Can you offer anything handwriting-related that’s funny, fearsome, problematic, or just plain bizarre? Comment here!

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2 Responses to Strange Tales from the World of Handwriting

  1. joanne silverman says:

    My boyfriend was asked by a friend of his if a third party, a handwriting expert, as in court testimony, wills, etc., could look at his writing and give a thumbnail assessment. My boyfriend agreed. The results came in a week later: She said the sample was written by a middle-aged, very angry, black woman. He was 30 something, a real jovial, devil may care type, and a dyed in the wool WASP. So much for expert opinion. A bit scary, yes?

  2. Joanne —
    You are right that not all “handwriting experts” are as expert as they think they are.

     In my observation and experience, the ones who make claims about the unseen writer’s age, skin color, sex, personality, etc., are wrong more often than they are right … worse yet, this kind of “expert” usually won’t change his/her mind even when personally confronted by the evidence. (Did your boyfriend offer to visit the “expert” in person and talk about the “expert’s” findings? I would have loved to be there!)

    Also in my observation and experience: those experts who confine themselves to questions like “Are both of these handwritten documents by the same person?” gain far higher accuracy. Admittedly, they can be wrong too, but they usually admit it, and they usually know when their conclusions aren’t certain. (The kind of “expert” that looked at your boyfriend’s writing typically regards his/her opinions on handwriting as infallibly self-evident. Sometimes, when facts proved that those opinions had been wrong, I have seen such an “expert” claim that something had been wrong with the handwriting sample itself. For instance, if the “angry middle-aged black woman” turns out to be a jolly young male WASP, the expert may claim that this young man or his friend tried to trick the handwriting analyst by submitting someone else’s handwriting instead.

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