I’ve written about graphology before but I found an extract from the 1928 Dallas Morning News that made me think the subject could be worth a revisit

“Can you tell me by the enclosed sample of my handwriting whether I will be a great actress, or does it show that my talents run along the lines of literature? Will you please answer immediately, because I am awaiting your decision before I make up my mind to go on the stage or write a book. My career rests entirely upon the sort of analysis you make.”


This excerpt from the letter of a young lady of apparently versatile talents and ambitions, and an unbounded faith in the ability of the handwriting analyst to delve into the future and advise her accordingly, is only one of the many amusing and sometimes absurd missives and inquiries which come daily to Nell Lively Dunaway of Lawton, Ok.

not this Dunaway

Asked about the character changes showing in one’s handwriting, Mrs Dunaway laughingly said that only a day or so before, she had noticed a change in her own writing, denoting an acquired love of authority, and upon carefully considering the matter, discovered to her own chagrin that she was becoming terribly bossy.


“I use it in hiring my household help” she said. “Whenever I lose a maid or a cook and we have a run on new ones, I have them write their name, address and telephone number down for me and then I analyze it when they’re gone.”

“You fire and hire on the way a ‘t’ is crossed?” I demanded incredulously. Really, I felt that it was a sort of unfair advantage to take. What if a maid happened not to be feeling well, and crossed her “t’s” antigogglin, denoting a morbid and cruel nature, or left off the tails of her “g’s” or something else fatal?


One young girl wrote in and sent a sample of her beau’s script which had come in a box of roses. While, as yet, the question had not been propounded to the young lady, she said she felt that American Beauty roses at the present price could be construed as something approaching seriousness. In order to be forewarned and ready for the vital moment, this modern miss demanded to know the real low-down on her Don Juan who was so profligate with his intentions.

For instance: Would he make a model husband and remember such trifles as bringing home the groceries and winding the clock ?

Read about Naaman Diller here and the French Queen’s clock here

Published in: on September 8, 2010 at 8:11 am  Comments (38)  
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38 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Faye Dunaway – [note to self ….. watch Bonnie and Clyde again …. oooo, and try and find that song again with the line “whilst Bonnie loaded dollars in a dewlap bag” ….. which should have been a ‘burlap’ bag …. Georgie Fame!!! – that’s the fella!]

    • She was great in the Thomas Crown Affair

  2. is that young man on a leash in the third photo wearing tidy-whities on his head? seems a rather harsh punishment. wonder what he did?

    • oh he’s been a very bad boy

  3. I had one date with a guy once, a Doctor, who asked me for a handwriting sample. Weird beyond belief, He also wanted to wear my bracelet and me his watch, during our coffee date so we could absorb a little of each other’s energy.
    Never did find out what my handwriting revealed for him.

    • now that really is weird

  4. You can be an actress or you can write a book, but you can’t do both. They won’t let you; it’s against the law.

    Also, I’m sure the good nurse owns that outfit in the picture under Ms. Dunaway.

    • I wish… I really need a pale green latex uniform to flesh out my fantasy wardrobe….

  5. Folk heroes history is always fascinating, Diller’s being one. I do love absorbing it all. Thanks NM.

    • It’s a good story isn’t it? I hadn’t heard of him before

      • Me ditto.

  6. That story about Naaman Diller was fantastic, I guess they never found out what made him tick…

    The King

    • Oh they did, the writer just ran out of time….

  7. It does seem like handwriting analysis actually can give an idea of what a person is like. the more flamboyant, the more artistic. Though I sometimes worry my own handwriting could be deciphered badly.

    • Mine is rather untidy, but I’m pretty anal about having things in order. One need only glance at my cds and bookshelves to see that.

  8. my handwriting reveals that I am less than ten years old.

    • oh you playful puppy you!

  9. These days, handwriting experts assess your personality by the number of LOLs you use when you update your Facebook status.

  10. My handwriting is illegible, what does that say about me?

    • Is anyone game to answer this?

      • Not me

  11. I’ve discovered that my handwriting looks much better produced in Verdana 11 on an HP laser printer than it does if I try to shake dried ink into the nib of my PaperMate ballpoint and scrawl something on the back of an envelope. I wonder what that says about me?

  12. My handwriting from 30 years ago is so different from what it is today. Have I morphed somehow?

  13. Fantastic story!

    My handwriting actually changes quite a bit depending on many factors. I always took this to mean that I have more personalities than Sybil.

    • Sybil! What a great movie that was… must watch it again sometime

  14. I will now be terribly paranoid if an employer ever has me give them something handwritten.

  15. My own handwriting reveals that I am a crab spider who has just stepped in some ink and trying to write Sanskrit

    A new word for me. Never heard og Antigogglin before

    • I’d like to see an example of your squiggle sometime Jams

  16. I’m a little surprised that Hollywood hasn’t pounced on the Diller story.

  17. one can tell much about a person by the font they use. i’d never be a lover, for example, with anyone who uses a sans serif font– you *know* they’d be terrible in bed (all business, no foreplay).

  18. one of the homeless fellows at the library lawn here keeps some sort of journal thing. he lays in the grass propped upon one elbow casually writing away; matted hair, caked filth, bare swollen feet. his shopping cart parked on the near by walk piled high with his random collection. i stole a peak over his shoulder at his journal the other week. i just had to see. his penmanship is impeccable. better even than my mothers.

    • A friend told me in Ireland even the homeless vagrants who hang around pubs can quote long passages from Joyce

  19. My handwriting would reveal my immaturity, rampant, unchecked sex appeal, and my penchant for ex-cons.

    Damn, Faye Dunaway was not messing around now was she??

    • Have you seen Mesrine? You’d love it

  20. Well my handwriting is awful which makes me a doctor according to some but that I am not.

  21. Wow, this is intriguing stuff. I wonder what would made of my nature based on how I have written this message?!….

  22. It wouldn’t be too bad to know what your writing says about you… as long as it’s not used against you…

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