To the graphologist, the two most important letters for analysis are the small t and the letter i.
In this chapter, you will find virtually every possible kind of t bar. Any other t bar you may come across will probably be only a variation of one of these, and with practice, you should be able to see into which category of t bar it fits.
When we speak of the t bar, we mean the horizontal line crossing the stem of the t. We are not concerned with the letter as a whole.
The ‘normal’ t bar is perfectly centered; meaning that the length of the bar is equal on both sides of the stem, and the length itself is the normal length. It also crosses the stem in the middle (measuring from top to bottom). This t bar shows confidence and self-discipline. It is the kind of t we were taught to make as children.
The post placed-rightward- t bar flies away from the stem. Often such writers have quick minds. Their purpose is not exactness in detail; they want to finish quickly. They are aggressive, often showing temper, impatient to reach their goals.
The pre placed t bar-leftward- besides not crossing the stem, also does not touch it. This writer procrastinates, often shows a lack of self-confidence, and is fearful. It is difficult for him to make decisions. He would rather hold off, as he held off from crossing the stem of the t.
The bowed t bar (also called a convex t bar) is usually found either in the center or the top of the stem. It shows a strong desire for self-control- like a hand holding back a certain desire the writer wishes to suppress.
When the bowed t bar is at the top of the stem, the bar is in the upper (spiritual) zone, this writer wants to put a curb on his earthy appetites, holding back primitive desires for deep religious reasons.
Wherever handwriting produces a knot, it shows persistence, stubbornness, a desire to have one’s own way. If, in addition to the knots, hooks appear in the letter as well the persistence is accentuated, because the nature of the hook is not to let go.
The t bar that is above the stem, shows the writer to be someone with strong imagination. He is adventurous, he has goals, he is authoritative. If he is able to make his goal a reality, he will probably do so in a great way, for he aims for the stars. (Notice that the t bar is in the upper zone). Unfortunately, these people are usually unrealistic, so the goals they set for themselves are often unreasonable.
An interesting note: Many graphologists have pointed out that when a person is preoccupied with his occupation, his handwriting will often reveal some kind of symbolism of the tools he uses. This particular t bar is commonly found among pilots, as if they thought of themselves as flying.
When the ‘t’ bar is flung down, the writer likes a challenge. This writer will not give up; he is a dominant personality, and when he says something, he means it. There is also cruelty in his personality, and he is often sulky, has a low opinion of others, is resentful, and in general is disappointed in life. Even though it is a masculine writing trait, many women write this kind of t bar also.
When the ‘t’ bar is only half of a bar-on the right side of the stem, which represents desires and goals, there is a certain degree of guilt about the past in this writer-not so severe that it prevents him from touching the stem, but it will not permit him to make a complete bar. (Note: Whenever a t bar does not cross the stem, regardless of which side it is located on, it shows repression.)
The t stem represents the present. Hence, when the bar appears only to the left of the stem (not shown), it represents some lack on the right, some shortcoming in his goals, his future. When the bar appears only to the right of the stem (as shown), it represents some lack on the left and indicates that the writer prefers not to be in contact with the past, perhaps his childhood.
The t bar that descends in a “tough” way, but does not cross it, indicates a certain degree of repression. The writer has guilt feelings, and he lives in the past, as shown by the location of the t bar on the left of the stem. In reality, along with aggression, there is also weakness.
Any t bar not crossing the stem shows a lack of confidence, fears about the self, and, as we mentioned before, repression. In addition, if the stem is looped, it will indicate sensitivity-often hypersensitivity. A loop, in general, is blown up to whatever degree necessary for the writer to express his feelings. Loops are signs of vanity. This person is going to be hurt quite often, since he looks for compliments, and is very sensitive.
The concave t bar, is opposite in shape to the bowed t bar and basically opposite in meaning. It shows fickleness, a person who is easily swayed, has weak resistance and weak willpower. The concave-t-bar writer takes the easiest way out and prefers not to fight.
A t that is not crossed at all may represent many possibilities: carelessness, forgetfulness, physical weakness, bad health, hastiness, and impatience-someone who does not have the time to worry about details and wants only to get his thought across. Generally, when the t bar is missing, we check for other corroborating signs, such as inclined writing and diminishing size of the middle-zone letters toward the end; if those signs are present, we say the uncrossed t bar stands for speed.
Hypersensitivity is revealed when the writer will not even take his hand off the page to cross the stem horizontally (goal-oriented). Instead, without lifting his hand, he scrawls a vertical t bar from the bottom of the stem, showing that he lacks strong goals for the future and is sensitive about this area of his life.
The t bar in the form of a knot shows persistence. If the t bar is located above the stem, the persistence concerns the self.
As we know, the t bar in the form of a knot shows persistence, but if the letter is composed of straight lines (forming angles) it indicates that he will go on to his goals relentlessly.
There are three forms of the ‘hooked’ t bar, all indicating tenacity and stubbornness.
a t bar with a hook at the left, shows a person who starts out strong but then gives up.
At bar with a hook at the right, shows someone who may not start out stubborn, but in the process becomes so.
A t bar with hooks at both ends, starts and finishes stubborn, and will fight on to the end of his own course. People like this have a lot of energy and usually move around a lot.
The t bar that is placed quite high on the stem, shows self-confidence. If a t bar is located beneath the middle of the stem: it shows lack of confidence in the self, as though he did not feel good enough about himself to “stretch up” to his normal height. The fact that the stem descends as it does with such determination shows stubbornness, unwillingness to bend to another’s opinion. It is often difficult to get along with such a person; as you can see, he descends to the lower zone to pick up a certain degree of strength.
Note: The height of the t bar as an indicator of personality is only relative to what is normal. In some countries, students are taught always to cross their t’s somewhat lower, or somewhat higher, than is usual with Palmer Method writers. So for them, relative height must be borne in mind.
When the t bar starts off thick and ends thin, it is a sign of one with a sharp tongue and sarcastic personality.
When the t bar goes back to the left, representing the past, it shows introversion. It also shows jealousy and lack of responsibility, and the hook in the structure of this letter shows greed, egotism, and selfishness.
When the t bar crosses in the middle but veers upward, it shows social aspirations and often a strong imagination. (This t bar points to the upper zone.) It is also the sign of one who wants to improve his situation, and is aggressive.
Where only a small part appears to the left of the stem the t bar may seem similar to the previous one, but it has a different meaning. This writer is ambitious to the point of having a fighting nature-he looks as if he were holding a bat. He is often the one who would rather take you to court than settle a suit outside.
When the ‘t’ bar begins moderately, not too dark, not too muddy, but then the bar on the right side of the stem becomes extremely heavy, danger is indicated Often this type of person does not show his brutality in the beginning, but it can be provoked at a moment’s notice, without warning. If this trait is corroborated by other indications in the script, such as muddy writing, and if it is written with the same strength with the bar off the stem it may indicate a murderer.
This is a common script found among murderers. Needless to say, these people are resentful, and (generally) have a low opinion of other people.
A wavy t bar is a sign of fun and gaiety, the practical joker mimicking others. It is as if the stroke of the t bar was saying, “Ah, don’t take me seriously.”
The t bar with one-half of its length scrolled is quite different from the wavy t bar. This person, though he answers questions in a more or less straight fashion, does so sarcastically. The straight part of the bar represents his answer to the question; the scrolling represents something of his own, which is added on (his sarcasm).
When the t stem is looped, it shows vanity (preening oneself in the presence of others). It also shows prejudice and superficial friendliness, a show-off. This person is bound to make an impression.
This low t bar indicates an inferiority complex. The t bar by nature shows strength, determination, the will of the individual, self-confidence. Its low placement on the stem shows this writer’s lack of self-esteem.
Always on the intellectual level, short t-bars appear in the script of timorous people who have little confidence in their own ideas and therefore do not plan very far ahead. Similarly, the short t-bar is indicative of the sober and matter-of-fact.
When the t bar goes down, around, and back toward the stem, it shows greed, a hoarder. The shape of the arc in the t bar looks as if the writer was trying to hold on to something.
When the t bar goes up and around and points toward the stem, this is a sign of egotism.
When you have the t bar covering the whole word it is a sign of protection, fatherliness. (Note: This particular t bar is found among many women, often young widows or divorcees. The fact that they are bringing up children alone, having added the fatherly role to that of motherhood gives us an understanding as to why this “masculine” trait should appear in their handwriting.) If the end stroke comes up and over toward the left it has the same meaning.
Notes about the t bar and the i dot:
We have seen the relative importance of the t bar. There are times when the t bar adopts no one stable form throughout a piece of writing. Some t’s will have a low-placed bar, others a middle placement, and still others a somewhat high one or even an above-the-stem position. This writing indicates a person who has not yet found his “thing” in life, but is looking.
When the writer post places the majority of the t bars, he usually post places the i dots too. Similarly, when the majority of the t bars are pre-placed so are the majority of i dots. I use the word “majority” because it is rare for a person to write all his t-bars or i dots the same height or in the same position. The graphologist looks for the overall average.
The i dot works in connection with the t bar. But the capital I, in the English language, has another meaning. When we write the capital I, we are visualizing in our minds what we think of ourselves. The I stand for the ego, so the special shapes this capital letter takes will show you, in capsule form, the writer’s self-image.
If you have wondered why a t bar or i dot should show the many signs that they do, it is because both represent an additional mark that the writer must stop and make. (The same thing holds true for native writers of languages that are rich in diacriticals, such as the Scandinavian, and their handling implies the same interpretation.) When the writer writes a word containing a t or i, he must decide whether to cross the t bar (or dot the i) in the middle of the word, or wait until he finishes the word and then go back. The way he solves this little problem gives an important clue to his individuality.
Examination for Lesson 4
1. What does the post placed t bar reveal?
2. Which t bar reflects procrastination?
3. Which t bar indicates strong imagination?
4. Describe the t bar that discloses a dominant personality.
5. What type of t bar indicates fickleness?
6. What type of t bar can show forgetfulness?
7. Stubbornness can be seen in a t bar. What is the common factor to
8. The t bars in the following sample reflect what trait?
9. Many of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ horizontal strokes veer upward. What does this reveal?
10. A t bar covering the whole word discloses what trait?
11. What is similar regarding the following t-bars and i dot?
12. What must the writer decide when writing a word containing a t or an i?
13. Describe the t bar that appears in timorous people who may have little confidence.
Answers for Lesson 4
1. Often such writers have quick minds. Their purpose is not exactness in detail; they want to finish quickly. They are aggressive, often showing temper, impatient to reach their goals.
2. The pre-placed t bar
3. The t bar that soars above the stem
4. It is flung down
5. The concave t bar
6. The t bar is missing
7. Hooks in the t bar
9. This shows social aspirations and often a strong imagination. It is also the sign of one who wants
to improve their situation, and is aggressive.
10. Protection, fatherliness
11. They are pre-placed
12. When the writer writes a word containing a t or i, he must decide whether to cross the t bar (or dot
the i) in the middle of the word, or wait until he finishes the word and then go back. The way he
solves this little problem gives an important clue to his individuality.
13. Short t-bars