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Give us a hand

What does your writing say about you?Elaine Quigley explains Many people believe all left-handers write with a backward slant, but this is not so. In this case, the backward slant shows the writer wants to be her own woman, and that she likes her own space, freedom and time to think.

This all shows in the spacing and width of the words, the simplicity of the stroke, the personal pronoun and the signature. She likes to make the most of everything she undertakes, once she has committed to it.

The simplicity of the lower zone - the security, socially directed emotion and energy area - indicates her need to get down to action. She likes to concentrate on one thing at a time and finish the day with the job completed.

She hates being told what to do, but responds well to a challenge. She doesn't mind taking her time when trying something new, but prefers working to a deadline.

The signature shows that she starts as she means to go on, and is confident and independent. She avoids hassle and tries to have detached but harmonious relationships. She will give time and effort willingly, but can backpedal if people try to drive her into a corner. Live and le live is her guiding attitude.

Sylvia Staples is head of learning support at Glebelands school, Cranleigh in Surrey It's pretty scary. Others would probably say it's very accurate. It is true that "if you want to get a job done give it to Sylvia", on the basis that you give work to busy people. I try to finish things but that's impossible sometimes. I'm about to go home now and my desk is covered in things to do. But I don't worry about it - things always get done.

I'm pretty stubborn - I think "hates being told what to do" is a euphemism for that. I have never taken authority seriously. I like to try out new things, and I think I'm fairly confident and independent. I know what I want to do but I like to think I am a good team player too. I was fairly sceptical, but this is really pretty accurate.

Elaine Quigley and Sylvia Staples were talking to Harvey McGavin. Does someone you know have unusual handwriting? Send an example - including signature - on unlined paper with a photograph and contact details to Jill Craven, Friday magazine, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX. You can email Elaine Quigley at

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