Proper hand position?

Does anyone here strictly adhere to the “correct” hand position as outlined in some of the books, which seems to be a slightly modified Palmer  writing grip, except with three fingers rather than two bering used as the movable rest?

I’ve been trying with varying degrees of success to write the lessons like this. I suspect it was easier for someone in the earlier part of last century, since they were likely already writing longhand with the wrist ‘floating’ above the paper.

How are all of the rest of you doing it?


Previous post:
Next post:
7 comments Add yours
  1. I use the same grip as Carlos, standard tripod. By turning my forearm, I can make it easier to do diagonal lines (swing forearm and bend wrist side-to-side) or vertical (more finger movement, up and down). I don't have a middle-ground. I use the diagonal one for shorthand, scribbles, and formal writing, and the vertical one if I need to print (which, given how my handwriting has gone downhill, is depressingly often).

    I lightly rest the base of my palm on the desk. If I'm writing quickly, it glides over the paper, but usually it pauses for a word or two before moving. It's still smoother than "start/stop".

    My son's occupational therapist said they used to insist on the Palmer grip, but now use whatever grip that works.

    If there are no contraindications, the Palmer grip is a good one to encourage, but it's not worth fighting over. (She tested dozens of things at our first visit, including asking him to do fine work behind his back, and all the muscles from finger tips to spine.)

    I think that Palmer worked better than what many of the kids came in with, and better than the "whole hand" grips that preschoolers develop on their own. Given that, and earlier decades' tendencies to standardize things just so they could be standardized, and the massive buy-in from school boards (a friend had to spend 2 days in Toronto learning to teach Palmer), it overwhelmed the competition (sort of like Gregg's massive advertising machine did to Pitman in the US).

  2. Does the pen sit between the index and middle finger, or rest more on the middle finger, in your cases? I hold the pen similarly but it rests on my middle finger, halfway between the first knuckle and the tip. When I write this means the pen presses into the skin alongside my middle finger nail. Perhaps not coincidentally, the skin there is dry and irritated today. It feels a little like having a hangnail.

    I was wondering if it's from the writing practice lately. I get dry skin anyways, but I suspect it's the pen, especially as that's the only area affected.

  3. I decided to learn to write longhand according to the techniques and principles that were the norm at the time of Pre-Anni. It was quite an adjustment to learn to use my forearm as the main pivot and movement, rather than having the side of my hand on the table.

    Dr. Gregg's book on Handwriting, and the IAMPETH website, were my main resources. I finally decided on E. C. Mills' book, as my standard for longhand.

    I can now write the outlines with the proportions, slant, flow of movement, spacing, etc., that I wish.

    There is an article on the difference in using arm movement and finger movement for writing shorthand, in The Gregg Writer, October 1931, page 99, "Perfect Your Own Style", which was of great help to me. I don't see the article listed in the table of contents. The article shows examples of Martin Dupraw's outlines, using primarily arm movement (which means the wrist floats above the table), and examples of primarily finger movement, written by Albert Schneider.

    I had a keen interesting in learning to write according to the standards and technique of ca. 1900, even though it required postponing my shorthand practise until I could write longhand well. I am so glad I did. The height of the capital letters at thrice the small letters, the length of the loops, the proportions and different slants of that era of longhand, reveal the outlines of shorthand to be quite natural. I find the technique, principles, forms, and flow of that era of handwriting far superior to the Zaner-Bloser I learned in the early sixties.

    For me, the effort brought wonderful results.

Leave a Reply