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Anonymous Letters And Disguised Hands
Classes Of Handwriting
Erasures
Forged Literary Autographs
Forged Signatures
Handwriting And Expression
How To Examine A Writing
Inks
Measurement And Its Appliances
Paper And Watermarks
Pencils And Stylographs
Punctuation
Terminology
The Alphabet In Detail
The Capitals
The Expert In The Witness-box
The Principles Of Handwriting Analysis



Pencils And Stylographs






It is obvious that writing executed with a pencil or the now much-used
stylograph will differ in many respects from that performed by an
ordinary pen. It is not too much to say that their use will eliminate
many features and introduce new ones. This change is mainly brought
about by the different way in which a pencil or stylograph is held in
comparison with a pen. There is a much greater sense of freedom. The
pencil can be, and is, turned and twisted in the process of making a
stroke as a pen cannot be, and the signs of this freedom become apparent
in a more rounded stroke. Even a writer whose characters are acutely
angular shows a tendency to a more graceful outline. As a matter of
fact, it is comparatively rare to meet a pencilled writing that is
pronouncedly angular.

The same remarks apply with only little modification to writing produced
by the stylograph, and for the same reason--the ease and freedom with
which the instrument is held.

There is no possibility of mistaking writing produced by a stylograph
for that of an ordinary steel nib. The strokes are absolutely uniform in
thickness. No nib-formed writing can be so, for it is impossible for a
writer, however careful, to avoid putting pressure on his pen at some
point; and the opening of the nib, however slight, must produce an
apparent thickening.

Therefore, recognising these facts, the expert is always extremely
careful in giving an opinion upon a writing produced by pencil or stylo
unless he have ample specimens of the writer's productions done with
these instruments.

At the same time, although an absence of characteristics present in pen
writing would be noticeable, the main features would exist: for example,
the space between words and letters would be the same; the dot over the
_i_ would be in its customary position; the bar of the _t_ would be of
the same type as heretofore. The principal changes would be in the
direction of a more uniform stroke with a tendency to greater rotundity.

Persons who habitually employ the stylo very frequently develop an
unconscious habit of twisting the pen at certain points so as to form a
deep, rounded dot. This occurs principally at the ends of words and
strokes. A magnifying-glass reveals this peculiarity at once, and, when
discovered, notice should be taken of the circumstances under which this
twisting is usually done. It will be found, most probably, that the
trick is uniform; that is, certain letters or strokes are mostly
finished with the dot.

There is a well-known public character who for years has employed no
other writing instrument but the stylo. His writing possesses one
peculiarity which is so habitual that in four hundred examples examined
it was absent in only five. He forms this twist dot at the end of the
last letter at the end of every line. The inference and explanation is
that, in raising the pen to travel back to the next line, he twists it
with a backward motion in harmony with the back movement. Another trick
is to make the same dot in words on which he appears to have halted or
hesitated before writing the next. In every such case there is an extra
wide space between the word ended by a dot and that which follows. It
would appear as if the writer mechanically made the dot while pausing to
choose the next word. This is a striking example of the unconscious
hand-gesture.

Something akin to it occurs in the handwriting of a famous lawyer. Here
and there in his letters will be noticed a faint, sloping, vertical
stroke, like a figure _1_. Those who have seen him write explain it
thus. While hesitating in the choice of a word he moves his pen up and
down over the paper, and unintentionally touches it. It is such slips as
these which often supply the expert with valuable clues to identity.
When they occur they should be carefully examined, for in the majority
of cases a reason will be found for their presence.





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Previous: Erasures



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