:"Handwriting" redirects here. For scripts for writing down notes by hand, see "
Cursive".Penmanship or handwriting is the art of writingwith the hand and a writing instrument. Styles of handwriting are also called "hands" or "scripts".
Ancient Roman handwriting styles included
Roman cursive, and the more calligraphic rustic capitalsand square capitals, the latter of which forms the basis for modern capital letters and was used in stone inscriptions. With the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Middle Ages, new scripts developed from the old Roman ones, such as uncialand later blackletter. The Carolingian period saw the development of Carolingian minuscule, the basis for modern lower case letters, and the era saw a vast improvement in the quality of penmanship.
scriptwas more easily readable and led to the creation of new manuscripts. The period is often described as a Carolingian Renaissance. The 15th century Renaissancesaw a return to the square capitals of the classical period and the minuscule of the Carolingian period, from which modern Roman-based scripts developed.
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in part because
printingreplaced most formal communicationsFact|date=February 2007, handwriting became cramped, small, and difficult to read.Fact|date=February 2007 The eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw another revival of clean formalized handwriting.Fact|date=February 2007 In the early twenty-first century, with the increasing popularity of electronic communication, some note a decline in the quality of penmanship similar to that brought on by the advent of printing. In the present time, handwriting tends to be a mixture of cursiveand printing; some consider this as evidence of the decline of handwriting.Fact|date=February 2007
Forgery of a person's handwriting is a frequent occurrence and commonly appears in the legal court system. Signatures etc are analyzed by a questioned document examiner.
Books used in North America
Platt Rogers Spenceris known as the "Father of American Penmanship." His writing system was first published in 1848, in his book "Spencer and Rice's System of Business and Ladies' Penmanship". The most popular Spencerian manual was "The Spencerian Key to Practical Penmanship", published by his sons in 1866. This "Spencerian Method" was taught in schools until the late 1890s. George A. Gaskell(1845-1886), a student of Spencer, authored two popular books on penmanship, "Gaskell's Complete Compendium of Elegant Writing" and "The Penman's Hand-Book" (1883).
Starting at the beginning of the 20th century,
Zaner-Bloser Scriptand the Palmer Method, introduced by Charles Paxton Zaner( 15 February 1864- 1 December 1918) and Elmer Ward Bloser( 6 November 1865- 1929) of the Zanerian Business Collegeand A. N. Palmer in his "Palmer's Guide to Business Writing", published in 1894, became the dominant copybooks in North America. Fact|date=February 2007 The A. N. Palmer Company finally folded in the early 1980s — Zaner-Bloser continues, and accounts for roughly 40% of handwriting textbook sales in the USA. Fact|date=February 2007
New scripts include D'Nealian Script and
Getty-Dubay— both published in 1976. D'Nealian (named after its inventor, Donald Neal Thurber) uses a slanted, serifed manuscript form followed by an entirely joined and looped cursive of the typical American variety. Getty-Dubay (named after its inventors, Barbara Getty and Inga Dubay) uses a slightly slanted, optionally serifed Italic manuscript followed by a partially joined, unlooped Italic cursive with letter-forms similar to those of Italic manuscript. D'Nealian accounts for 40% of American handwriting textbook sales; Getty-Dubay, which accounted for less than 1% of American handwriting textbook sales in 1995, by 2003 had come to account for 7% of American handwriting textbook sales, and has reportedly continued this growth.Fact|date=February 2007
The remainder of the American handwriting textbook scene comprises more than 200 published textbook curricula, all differing from these and from each other in often confusing ways: particularly as regards cursive. (E.g., the cursive capital "T" of the Harcourt-Brace handwriting program closely resembles the cursive capital "F" of most other American handwriting programs and in fact looks much more like their "F" than it looks like the "T" of those other cursive programs.)Fact|date=February 2007
Calligraphy— the art of writingitself, generally more concerned with aesthetics for decorative effect than normal handwriting.
Regional handwriting variation
Palaeography— the study of script.
Letterer- Comic book lettering
Diplomatics— forensic palaeography (seeks the provenance of written documents)
Sütterlin— German cursive writing, used from 1915 to 1941.
Cursive— any style of handwriting in which all the letters in a word are connected.
Graphology— the study and analysis of handwriting especially in relation to human psychology.
* [http://www.iampeth.com/lessons.php Lessons in Calligraphy and Penmanship]
* [http://www.amazon.com/Elegant-Hand-American-Penmanship-Calligraphy/dp/1584560673 An Elegant Hand: The Golden Age of American Penmanship and Calligraphy] by William E. Henning, ed. by Paul Melzer
* [http://hans.presto.tripod.com/penman/ The Golden Age of American penmanship] , including scans of the January 1932 issue of
Austin Norman Palmer's "American Penman"
* [http://www.paperpenalia.com/handwriting.html Improving handwriting]
* [http://www.drawyourworld.com/handstyle.html Several scripts]
* [http://www.momes.net/education/ecriture/graphismes.html Exercises and examples of French cursive penmanship]
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/10/AR2006101001475.html The Handwriting Is on the Wall; Researchers See a Downside as Keyboards Replace Pens in Schools] Article in Washington Post.
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