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Why does European handwriting differ so much from the US? -By Sheila Kurtz


Why does European handwriting differ so much from US writing despite the same alphabet?

The teachers of penmanship in most European nations are quite adept, and some of the strokes and mannerisms seen in European handwriting are taught by teachers who understand that “to hold a pen is to be at war,” and thus every stroke, jot, and tittle actually deals with a facet of character.

Most decent handwriting teachers in the USA are fair to middling mechanics, but many may not know how to write in cursive and are unaware or uncaring of the relationship between script and personality. Handwriting in the USA is increasingly limited to an elite segment who do not believe that handwriting has been murdered by keyboards.

For example, in the UK many citizens slant their handwriting to the left (far more than in the USA), a sign of emotional repression, holding in feelings, not interested in letting anyone in on their privacy until, at least, they have observed and know the other person to a considerable degree.

Each country has its graphic idiosyncrasies that reflect the national character.

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