Why is cursive slant still important? American society still makes judgments about people based on their handwriting, and slant is one of the strongest criteria used. Most people make these judgments subjectively and subconsciously every day. However, employers and bank officers are just two examples of those in the power structure who employ professional handwriting analysts to make judgments about prospective employees and about people applying for loans.
In the photo above, I have written out some examples of various slants, as well as how they are perceived. As a teacher, when I introduce cursive writing, I actually write samples like this on the chalk board to show them to students, and explain what people might think about others based on the slant of their handwriting. So I encourage them right from the very first day that our goal is to try for an average forward slant, shown in the last example in the photo above.
One other example did not fit on the page, so here it is:
Our slant, like other aspects of our handwriting, will change from day-to-day, but we should generally try for a correct forward slant. This can be obtained by turning the writing paper 45° counterclockwise (subject of the post following this one, Part 7).
Countries and cultures, when compared with one another, also tend to have typical characteristics. For example, British “reserve” as compared with American “friendliness with strangers” can be seen in typical handwriting slants from each culture. Vertical, or even backslanted writing is more common in British culture than in American. If we move to North Africa, we find people generally suspicious and distrustful of others, and as expected, backslanted writing (in Western languages) is most common of all.
If you are from outside the United States, you should be all right using the slant which is most common in your own culture, and no one will judge you negatively. But if you are living or working in America, you should be very aware of this and of the impact it could have on your personal life or career with any of the undesirable slants discussed above.
My next post will explain, with photos, how to position the paper to get a correct forward slant.
In case anyone has had trouble reading the cursive in the photo, here is a typed version:
Cursive Slant for American Writing
In American culture:
A vertical slant is not considered desirable; you are judged to be too logical, too cold, and without feeling.
A backslant is to be avoided at all costs; you are judged to be emotionally suppressed, possibly with some kind of ecret emotional trauma in your background, difficult to approach,and someone who maintains a shell around themselves.
This is too much forward slant; these people are judged as being far too emotional, of making all of their decisions based on feelings.
This is the minimum acceptable forward slant.
This is an average/normal forward slant, which is considered most desirable in America. This slant, to Americans, indicates a balanced person who uses good judgment between logical decisions and emotion in their decision-making.
A variable (frequently changing) slant indicates moodiness, instability, and a frequently changing picture of oneself, as well as trouble making decisions.