Kim’s reflection on her own hand writing: “I truly was absent from the third grade the day the teacher taught the class how to write “f”, capital “I”, and lowercase “j”, and how to join lowercase “a”, “c”, and “d” to adjoining letters. (It’s possible I was absent for a few days.) My penmanship was an abomination till I taught myself to write in all-caps in high school. I stuck with that for a while, then was mature enough to just accept my handwriting as it is. I can make it look alright if I try really hard, but otherwise I like it.” Photo (and story) Coutesy: Kim Piper Werker
A Fading Way of Life
The fascinating march of human race through time keeps presenting us with new ways of life while discarding others as outdated along the way. Handwriting is one such way of life that has been used all over the world for hundreds of years.
However, no one could have imagined that in the span of a human lifetime, the advent of computers and word processors would toll the death knell of writing by hand. It is shocking to say the least. The other day, when I asked a friendâ€™s twelve year old son whether he works on his handwriting being clean, he gave me a blank stare. His matter of fact answer (or rather question) was, â€œWhat for?â€ Writing by hand lasted human kind over two millennia but seems ready to take a bow in a span of two decades only! No wonder epitaphs are already being written for handwriting all over the world and RIP (Rest in Peace) signs are being carved for a way of life with which many of us grew up.
Not so many years ago, applicants were required to apply for a job posting in their â€˜own handwritingâ€™. Present generations would not only find that archaic but strange too. However, a new trend in European countries is emerging where they evaluate a personâ€™s handwriting to find out about his/her personality and suitability for a job position. This handwriting analysis is called Graphology.
Can your handwriting be a factor in your selection for a job?
Catherine Quinn examines this recruitment aid in her article â€œHandwritten Evidenceâ€ published in the Guardian (UK). She claims that â€œFrench employers in particular favour the method, with some 75% using graphology as part of their recruitment processâ€ and that more than 3000 companies in UK are known to use it. Now that is a noticeable number of employers using this technique.
Quinn has also quoted leading graphologist Margaret White, who uses her skills to assess job applicants for recruiters, as saying, “When used correctly, graphology can give a good indication of a person’s personality structure, their abilities, ability to grow and develop, and perhaps most importantly, their integrity”. However, the question arises whether results based on analysis of a personâ€™s handwriting are fair or scientific? Wikipedia describes Graphology as â€œthe pseudo scientific study and analysis of handwritingâ€. No wonder than that only a few employers admit to using it for their job filling selection process.
Acceptance of Graphology
This brings to my mind another kind of test called the â€˜Polygraphâ€™ aka â€˜lie detector testâ€™. Invented in 1921 by John Augustus Larson, this test has a number of supporters as well as detractors. But it has managed to acquire a reputation and acceptance of its own. Will graphology also be able to establish an equivalent status in our context of discussion, which is about the selection of an applicant for a job?
According to Quinnâ€™s article, The British Graphology Institute proclaims that graphology tests can be used in conjunction with Psychometric tests to â€œvalidateâ€ each other. The institute also insists that ethics dictate that such tests should always be conducted with prior approval of the concerned person.
I found this subject interesting because first, I have been sad by the realization that handwritten words are on their way out and second, if this kind of test gains acceptance and credibility, we could keep handwriting alive. Although my own handwriting has been called average (not bad), it still was a relief to find out that bad scribbling doesnâ€™t mean a lack of qualities. Anyone who has tried to read a doctorâ€™s prescription would agree!
Finally, no word processor, however fancy, can grant your writing that uniqueness which separates you from all the rest of humanity. I would also never forget the excitement of getting a letter â€“ a real one, not an email â€“ and recognizing from the handwritten address itself, who it was from.
For complete text of the informative article by Catherine Quinn, visit: