Signatures

 

Why do some look better than others?

Click for AUDIO version.

I find signatures to be rather interesting. With a few swipes of the pen, we can commit ourselves to financial transactions, insurance and medical support, purchase or sell a house or car, or simply endorse something such as in a petition. Signatures actually carry more weight than the spoken word, particularly in a court of law. Despite the significance of signatures, it is interesting to see how poorly we typically write them.

Our signatures begin to deteriorate as we get older and face the fast-paced demands of adulthood. I used to kid my father about his “turkey tracks” penmanship, but as I have gotten older I wonder if mine is any better. I try to be legible, but I’m sure there is still room for improvement.

Men tend to have the worst signatures. They are either written in Morse Code with squiggles, dots and dashes, or like a third grader with crayons, neither of which are comprehensible to the average human being. I would much rather they use an “X” or some other unique symbol as opposed to the spaghetti penmanship they offer.

Handwriting specialists believe our signatures say a lot about our character; for example, the more obnoxious or bolder they are, the greater the ego; the smaller they are, the weaker you are perceived. I wonder how such experts would diagnose John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence? I get the feeling he wasn’t exactly a timid or meek individual.

Women typically write better than men. It’s nice to know somebody was paying attention during penmanship class in grade school.

I tend to believe signatures are a reflection of our commitment to something. If we take the time to make it legible, the more sincere we are about our commitment. The more cavalier we are with them, the less serious we are. Nevertheless, if you are having trouble writing a legible signature, I suggest you either take the time to brush up your penmanship or buy a rubber stamp that can clearly express yourself. I’m sorry, squiggles, dots, dashes, and crayons are hardly a way of writing an adult signature anymore.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a freelance writer and management consultant located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. As an avid writer and speaker, Tim discusses everything from business and management, to politics and morality, to systems and technology, and our ever changing world.