The Capitals

Owing to their large size and more complex form the capital letters

offer much more material for tests than the smalls. They yield more

scope for tricks and eccentricity, though, at the same time, their extra

prominence, and the clearness with which their outlines strike the eye

of the writer render it more likely that he will detect glaring

departures from the orthodox model. In other words, a writer would

probably pa
more attention to accuracy in forming, and particularly in

copying, a capital than a small letter. This is generally found to be

the case in signature forgeries, the capitals being, as a rule, much

nearer the original than the small letters. But there is this great

advantage in favour of the student in examining capitals--the strokes

being more expansive supply a larger field and material for examination.

For example, a ragged or diamond stroke in a much flourished capital

like _M_, _W_, _R_ or _B_ would be more apparent than the same kind of

stroke in a small letter.

There is no need to take the capital letters seriatim, as was the case

with the smalls, for the same principles and rules for examination apply

in both cases. The same care is necessary in examining the arcs, hooks

and shoulders of loops, with their general conformation. The angle of

slope is more noticeable in capitals, and they reveal the

characteristics of the writer more than small letters. Persons who

profess to delineate character from handwriting always pay great

attention to the capitals, doubtless with good reason, and as the result

of long experience.

An examination will show that about ten capitals can be formed with two

disconnected strokes. They are _A_, _B_, _F_, _H_, _K_, _P_, _Q_, _R_,

_T_ and _X_. These are known as double capitals. These doubles should

be carefully looked for, and the frequency, or otherwise, of their

recurrence noted, as it is probable they will be found to be nearly

always used under the same circumstances; that is, a writer may have a

habit of beginning with a double capital when possible, but revert to

the single form of the same letter in the body of the writing. Another

writer will almost invariably disconnect the capitals from the rest of

the word, while a third as regularly connects them. Some writers affect

the more simple form, approximating to the printed character. Others

again indulge in inordinate flourishes, particularly in their

signatures. Such writers prove easy prey to the forger.

A feature very easy of detection in capitals is the "diamond." It is

formed by a sudden thickening of the downstroke. It is particularly

noticeable in the writing of those who have been instructed in the

old-fashioned school, where a distinction between the heavy downstroke

and the light upstroke was insisted upon. The diamond habit once formed

is very difficult to eradicate, and traces of it always remain in the

writing of persons thus taught.

An important and significant part of a capital letter is the beard. It

is an automatic trick, and always repays careful examination. It may be

a spurred, ticked or dotted beard, but in any case the initial stroke

must be carefully examined, whatever form it may assume, for the

oft-emphasized reason that it belongs so essentially to the

clue-providing class of unguarded and unpremeditated automatic strokes

that are overlooked by the writer.

Variations in the form of a capital must be noted, and a record kept,

for, however great the variety, it will be found that one particular

form is more used than another, and may be regarded as the normal type

of the writer.

A peculiarity of some writers is the use of an enlarged form of the

small letter for a capital. The letters so made to serve a double

purpose are generally _A_, _C_, _E_, _G_, _M_, _N_, _O_, _P_, _Q_, _S_,

_U_, _V_ and _W_. They are referred to as small capitals.