Question About Slant

My book came today, and I have a few questions.  In the book, their slant for the F’s and V’s are so insanely slanted, i find it hard to actually achieve such a slant.  For example, when the word “vase” is writin, The top of the V and the bottom of the V have a good ammount of horrizontal space, and there is still a hook.  Do people really draw the hook at the top of the letter?  Is it really that slanted?  Does’nt seem so natural to me…  Thanks.

(by _pie_man_ for everyone)

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  1. Wow, the whole "big comma" thing completly fixed my S, F, V, F , P, and B.  For the R and L, how much of a hook or curve is there in the beginning.  Right now mine have too much of middle curve or or almost completly straing.  How far above the line should the downward stroke for beginnign R's and L's be?  

  2. When you write a "v" or an "f", think of a big comma.  The top is not really a hook, it is a curve — the stroke comes straight at the end.  So the movement starts to the right, not up.  The slant is necessary for the joining of vowels at the bottom line.  Take the word "vase".  If you draw a straight line from the start of the "v" to the bottom line, the circle vowel and the "s" should lie to the left of that line.  That is the horizontal space that you are talking about.  This disconnect (or horizontal space) between the top and bottom is more pronounced in the words "save" and "safe".  In those words, the circle vowel is completely outside of the beginning "s", so that you can have space for the final slanted "v" or "f".   To me, the "v" and the "f" are the hardest strokes to master, because of the slant and the peculiar way of starting them.  The proof of a good "f" or "v" is that if you turn it upside down, you can read "p" and "b" — if they do, then you have mastered the stroke.

  3. For the R, L, K, and G, none of those curves is a perfect arc. In the K and G, the curve is slight at the beginning, but pronounced at the end, while the curves of R and L are pronounced at the beginning and slight at the end. If you flip the page, the K and G will turn into R and L, respectively.

    How do we properly write these strokes? For the K and G, we start at the line of writing, and we pivot the arm to the right (as if we were writing an N or M), but we make the slight slant upward with the finger and use it again at the end to come down to the line of writing and form the semihook (or curve). Throughout these motions, the hand is pivoting to the right.

    For the R and L, think like you are about to write a check mark. We start above the line and with a pure finger movement create the small semihook (or curve) at the beginning, touching the line at the bottom of the semihook, and you complete the motion with the free arm, slanting slightly upward to even out the arc, the hand again pivoting to the right. The beginning and the end of the arc should be at the same level.

  4.   Excellent questions!Very helpful suggestion. My s,f,v,r,l,p and b's are looking much better.   I have a question.My curves don't seem to have a good amount of slant or natural curve.Does anyone have a idea which would make writting curves to the strokes d-m, t-m and n-d easier to facilitate?

  5. Try this.

    For the under th, nt, and mt: the curve starts to the right, and then swings upward, with no hooks at the beginning or at the end. If you draw an imaginary straight line between the beginning and the end of the stroke, this line should be approximately at 30 degrees from the line of writing.

    For the over th, tn, and tm: the curves start outwards, so that the curve is deep at the beginning and flattens out toward the end. Again, an imaginary line between the beginning and the end of the stroke should be approximately at 30 degrees from the line.

  6. It would help some if for penmanship practice, you draw lines on your paper so that you can practice the slant of the stroke. Then, once you practice many times, the slant will become second nature, and you can write anywhere with the correct slant. The 30 degree line is a suggestion. The closer that imaginary line is to horizontal, the more slant you will have.

  7. Yep, been drawing lines on a sheet of paper so I may penmanship practice is exactly what I am doing since the beginning. My nt, mt and tm still could use improving. I guess I'll have to keep on keeping on.

  8. I noticed in many of the Gregg manuals for teachers penmanship lessons were quite often discouraged, as was assigning assigning individual words , brief forms and phrases to be written five or more times. It seems that the major consideration was that the relative size of like shaped forms should be carefully observed , so as to avoid errors in transcription and to make the entries legible if referred to in the future. The empasis was on lots of reading, copying  good examples of  well written shorthand, and the penmanship will take care of itself. DOC

  9. Yes, penmanship lessons were discouraged, not because it was not important, but because as a teacher you would rather spend class time in dictation and transcription practice, and not in correcting penmanship faults.  So for that reason penmanship was not taught.  Also, when you are taking dictation, it is much more important to get as much as you can down, and not worrying about how pretty it looks.  That doesn't mean that penmanship is not important — in fact, if you have good penmanship from the start, it will make it much easier to read your notes at high speeds.  And if you want your notes to read like Charles Rader's, you need some tips on how to do it.

  10. A lot of interesting and useful things in these dusty old corners. : ) That insane slant sometimes makes 'for' look like 'and' to me. Good thing the context sets me straight.

    If anyone is interested, the slant of the downstrokes in the manuals is 55 degrees, the same as script writing such as copperplate lettering. If you want to practice penmanship at this slant, an easy way to mark guidelines is to use a triangle made by cutting a 3" x 5" index card from corner to corner.

    If you do practice with slant guidelines, I'd suggest spacing them at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches apart. This seems to be close enough to be useful and far enough to avoid drawing instead of writing.

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