(Note: The letter m is considered one of the most important letters. )
Picture a diagram of the basic letter M, consisting of its three humps. The first hump represents the writer's ego; the second hump represents his social status; the third hump represents other people. Should a particular hump not reflect the basic M, we look for variations, as we looked for variations from the school model (Palmer Method) and analyze the deviations. Imagine the letter ('m') that shows an arc curving under the body of the letter. It illustrates the performer, the speechmaker; the arc looks like an arm making a kind of gesture to the audience. When only two “tops" (humps) are made, the first represents the ego and the second the other person. When the first part is higher than the second is, we see the writer's ego as of more importance than the other person. He is probably proud and conceited. When the first part of the letter is lower than the second part, although the whole letter itself mounts toward the end, it shows ambition. The writer's ego is lower than the image he has of the other person. This indicates an inferiority complex, one that is dependent on others’ opinions. Imagine the letter ('m') looped and large; loops are an attention-getting device. In addition, the blown-up size of this letter indicates vanity. Consider the capital letter ('M') that, although it has the ‘opportunity’ to show off its ego by making itself larger than the rest of the word, does not do so. This indicates a writer who is modest, simple, and retiring. Obviously a letter made in the form of a musical note, shows musical interest. When the starting stroke, instead of beginning from the left, starts from the right, as though the writer needed some extra flourish to communicate his thoughts, we see talkativeness and a good sense of humor here. Picture the ugly-looking letter, where the middle stroke descends sharply, showing materialism. Its ugly shape indicates vulgarity. Imagine the middle hump is lower than the other two. Since the second hump shows the social status of the writer, this form implies dissatisfaction with his social position or his job. People who feel this way tend to rely heavily on public opinion in deciding on a course of action. When the middle hump is highest of the three, this writer relies more on his own opinion than on that of others. Because the second hump is “climbing" above the first and third, we see an ambitious person who may step on others to attain his goal. Consider the letter ('m') written in a wavy fashion, without distinct shape. This shows changeability. A diplomat, who must often evade ticklish situations, might write in this manner. Picture the letter that is called a “thready connection. " Making the proper upstrokes and downstrokes was too much trouble for this writer. He takes the easy way out and avoids them all. People who write like this usually find it difficult to make decisions and are prone to lapse into hysteria. Note: This thready M is not to be confused with the thready dying out of a word, which implies unwillingness to commit oneself-a subtle difference. (See Chapter 11, note 5. ) Imagine the letter written in the garland form- open at the top. The garland betokens a friendly, easygoing, kind individual, which does not conceal how he feels. Its round form shows warmth and softness. When the angle changes, we see a person who cannot decide whether he wants to live in the past, present, or future. When the writing shows only two changes in angle the indecision is not as severe as when the writing changes angles in three directions. Nevertheless, the writer is torn. Consider the small, crowded ‘m. ’ Since the m represents so many social aspects of the individual, this letter indicates a narrow-minded person who chooses to crowd himself in. He is probably shy. The rounded letter ('m') shows someone with a heart of gold. Roundness implies softness, like a bouncing ball, whereas angularity implies hardness, sharpness, like the point of a knife. There are instances when it is a good idea to watch the writer while he writes. He may take his hand off the page and make a nearly conscious decision as to how the letter should be completed. If one goes over the letter without lifting the writing tool, one has to use what are called covering-up strokes-the upstroke and the downstroke share the same line. Covering-up strokes indicate that the writer is hiding something. It usually involves cheating in one manner or another, and hence the writer tries to show as little of himself as possible, avoiding separate up-strokes and downstrokes, since separate strokes would show more of his true personality than he wants to reveal. Picture strokes which are broken, although there is no doubt that the letter is an ‘m. ’ Writing like this is found among frugal persons (as though they were saving by not filling in the entire letter) and among nervous people. The latter seem to need to lift the hand from the page, possibly because it trembles. Imagine the third hump is the highest of the three. Since the third hump depicts the writer's relationship with other people, this shows envy. He has placed others on a pedestal higher than himself and now begrudges the heights to which they have risen. Consider the end stroke going to the right and down. Since the normal, social thing would be to extend the final to the right; this downstroke betokens a pessimistic attitude. This writer sulks and probably suffers from depression. His writing is directed downward to reflect his feelings. Picture ‘tacky elaboration. ’ This reflects exaggeration, because of the unnecessary strokes and surely, a lack of taste. Imagine the beginning stroke is hooked. A hook can reveal egotism, greed, and stubbornness. Here the hook represents ego, and because it points inward toward the first hump of the M, it shows selfishness. Consider the beginning stroke that is both large and flourished. Since the first part of the ‘m’ shows the ego, we see snootiness. The writer is trying to give an exaggerated image of his own worth. When used in an ungraceful manner like this, flourish strokes show false pretense and affectation. When the various humps are a uniform height, we see intelligence, good taste, and a generally amiable disposition. Its similarity to the block letter, which shows simplicity, implies intelligence, and good taste is shown by the very fact that the writer has chosen the simplest possible form. We read good disposition in the equal size of the humps-none distorts the others; social status, ego, and relationship to his fellowman are all in due proportion. The end downstroke may be significantly lighter than the rest of the letter. This writer has a mean streak in him. He cuts off his relationships with his fellowman (the shortened third hump). In addition, since the light downstroke heads in the direction of the lower (sexual) zone, he probably cannot enjoy marital relationships in the normal way. The combination of meanness and inability to enjoy normal sex hints that this writer is by nature a sadist. (See chapter 6. ) Picture the end downstroke that is considerably more lightly written than the rest of the letter. If it continues into the lower zone, the area where the strength of the individual lies, it implies fatigue and weakness. The endstroke, which is written with heavy pressure, indicates brutality. There are two reasons for this: (1) all endstrokes show the writer's relationship to the other person, and (2) the third part of the m also shows this. Thus, this personality trait is emphasized. Imagine the endstroke that goes up into the upper zone and ends in a heavy dot. The upper zone indicates the imaginative and intellectual aspect of the writer, and the leftward tendency of the stroke reveals negativism about him. (Leftward tendencies often mean negativism and rightward tendencies positivism. ) The heavy pressure of the dot shows materialism. Adding up these facts, we conclude that this writer engages in calculating flattery. Consider when the endstroke is hooked. A hook in general shows tenacity, and when it is found at the end of the ‘m’ (relationship to others), we see someone whose dealings are marked by stubbornness. Picture the endstroke that extends into the upper zone (spirituality, mysticism). When this endstroke is found at the last part of the ‘m’ (relationship with other people), we see one who couches his human relationships in religious terms.
Joel Engel is the author of “Handwriting Analysis Self-Taught" (Penguin Books)