In which Desultor hazardeth his Anonymity
Last night I figured out how to overcome a galling shortcoming of mine: my lousy fives in handwriting. Everyone is always complaining about them, and how they can’t tell them from esses. I realized last night that this is because I have been using the same stroke to make a 5 as to make an S, vainly trying to make the five’s corners pointy and sometimes adding a hideous reinforcement line when they’re not pointy enough. This lousy practice leads me to the lousy practice of trying to differentiate my esses by making them wicked ultra dumb and stupid looking, with extra curlicues and whatever.
The year 1550 in the sample below shows one frightful five and one even worse one, which was so crummy I tried to reinforce it with a top line. This attempt at beautification was, like all of its predecessors, an abject and ugly failure.
But I have learned! The trick to making good fives is using two strokes of the pen, like so:
I was so psyched at my new trick that I exuberantly filled half a sheet with practice fives. Here’s a sample. See if you can spot the (unusually adequate) old school five hiding in the crowd!
I am going to seriously rethink my lower case a and d now; everyone’s always drilling on them too. Who knows where the power of multiple penstrokes will take me!