In order to render the description of a writing perfectly clear, a

system of terminology is adopted which is invariable. That is, the same

terms are always employed in indicating the same parts of a letter.

These are simple, and for the most part self-explanatory, so that no

effort is required to commit them to memory.

Every part of a letter has a distinctive na
e, so that it would be

possible to reproduce a script character very closely by a verbal


The following are the terms used in describing a letter:--

_Letter_ means the whole of any script character, capital or small. For

the sake of brevity in notes and reports capital is written Cp.; small,


_Arc._--An arc is the curve formed _inside_ the top loop or curve, as in

_f_, _m_, _h_, _o_. In _o_, the inside top half of the letter is the

arc; the inside bottom half is the hook.

_Buckle._--The buckle is the separate stroke added to such letters as

_k_, _f_, and capitals _A_, _F_, _H_.

_Beard._--The beard is the preliminary stroke that often appears in

capital letters.

_Body._--The body of a letter is that portion of it which rests on the

line and could be contained in a small circle. For example, in a small

_d_ the body consists of the circle and the final upward curve or toe.

In a small _g_ the body is the circle minus the tail.

_Eye_ is the small circle formed by the continuation of a stroke as in

the shoulder _r_.

_Finals._--A final is the finishing stroke not carried beyond the shank

in capitals, and in a few smalls like _y_, _g_, _z_.

_Foot._--The foot of a letter is that portion of it that rests on the

line. Small _m_ has three feet, _h_ has two, etc.

_Hook._--The hook is the inside of a bottom curve. It is the opposite of

the arc.

_Link._--The link is that portion of the stroke which connects two


_Broken link._--A broken link is a disconnection in the link joining two


_Loop._--A loop is that portion of a letter which forms the top or tail.

Unlooped tops and tails are called "barred." For example, small _f_ has

two loops, top and bottom; _f_, _h_, _l_ have one top loop; _g_, _y_,

_z_ have one bottom loop.

_Shank._--The shank of a letter is the principal long downstroke that

forms the backbone.

_Shoulder._--The shoulder is the outside of the top of the curve as seen

in small _m_, _n_, _o_, _h_. Small _m_ has three shoulders, _n_ two, _h_


_Spur._--The spur is to the small letter what the beard is to the

capital. It is the initial stroke.

_Tick._--A tick is a small stroke generally at the beginning of a

letter, sometimes at the end.

_Toe._--The toe is the concluding upward stroke of a letter, as seen in

small _e_, _n_, _h_, &c.

_Whirl._--The whirl is the upstroke in all looped letters. It is a

continuation of the spur in _b_, _h_, _f_, _l_, and is always an