is this grandma's writing?
November 28, 2012 7:54 PM   Subscribe

Do you think the same person wrote all the words on this paper?

Do you think the same person wrote all the words on this paper? I think my grandmother wrote this recipe, and that is for sure her handwriting on the left where it says "susans half" and all that below. But on the right, it just looks neater than what i am used to her writing looking like. i am going to try to attach a link. Thank you for your help!

posted by orangemacky to Writing & Language (19 answers total)
It looks like the same person wrote the text on the right, whereas someone else wrote the text on the upper left.
posted by cotesdurhone at 7:59 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

To me it looks like the same person's writing, but the right side of the page they were mindful of trying to write neatly. That said, a lot of older handwriting looks sort of the same to me, and I'm by no means an expert.

Then again, the "b" in the two instances of butter look very different. So maybe it is a different person's handwriting?
posted by Sara C. at 7:59 PM on November 28, 2012

These looks like two completely different hand writing styles (take a look at the 5s that are in each one, the 'b's etc.)

All in different styles of writing.

Also I wouldn't expect someone to put their name on a recipe as an edit unless they were showing their own version of it.

My money would be that your grandma took someone's recipe and came up with her own version of a 1/2 recipe, not everything is a straight 1/2 value of the original recipe. She came up with a smaller version she liked.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 7:59 PM on November 28, 2012 [7 favorites]

I would be extremely surprised if the same person wrote that, unless your grandmother has suffered a medical episode of some sort. I have known a few people (my great grandmother among them) who have had strokes that have significantly altered their handwriting.
posted by phunniemee at 8:01 PM on November 28, 2012

I am in NO WAY a handwriting expert but I have read all the Hercule Poirot books several times. I would say they are clearly different based on the formation of some letters; I'm looking particularly at the capital P in in "pecans" and the lowercase f in "flour". Other letters look like stretched out versions of the same letter but those look like they have actually been formed differently which would mean that two different people wrote them. You might change certain things when you are writing neatly but not the entire way you write a specific letter.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:02 PM on November 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

My guess is no, based especially on the "s" in sugar, and the different spellings of "tea" / "tsp" for teaspoon
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 8:02 PM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

If you focus on a particular letter, you can see how the person on the right forms it differently than the person on the left. Look at the lowercase "e" or "g."
posted by John Cohen at 8:04 PM on November 28, 2012

I see many, many differences between the left and right samples. But I've also seen my mom's handwriting evolve from something like the right side (over much of her life) to the left side (starting around age 68). Could be the same person at different times.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 8:06 PM on November 28, 2012 [3 favorites]

I think definitely not. Yes, handwriting can degrade, but look at how it's "cup" on one side, "C" on the other; "teaspo." on one side, "tsp" on the other, etc. You don't switch how you do these kind of abbreviations, especially when it comes to recipes, and especially in years past, when women wrote out lots and lots of recipes.
posted by HotToddy at 8:14 PM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]

There are some markers between the two that are so similarly individualised that it seems like it's either the same person trying to write very, very neatly on one side and then much more quickly/naturally/years later on the other OR they are related in a way where they were exposed to the same handwriting "role models" for a very long time (siblings or parent/child, maybe...?).

But, then, nothing surprises me with things like this anymore, and it could be two completely different people.

those look like delicious cookies.
posted by batmonkey at 8:15 PM on November 28, 2012

I have many different writing styles, from nice copperplate to sloppy half printing-half cursive. However, I don't change the conventions I use- especially shorthand, as in writing recipes. So I agree with everyone above who think that this is two different people's writing.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:26 PM on November 28, 2012

These look very different to me. If you look at specific letters there are very clear differences. The looping descenders on letters like "y" and "p" are shaped very differently. Terminal "r" like in "butter" and "sugar" have an upward loop on the left side, but are more straight on the right. On the left the "f" in flour has a looping entry stroke it doesn't have on the right side.
posted by apricot at 8:34 PM on November 28, 2012

Other than the 'f', the writing on the right looks like Palmer cursive, which was popular in the US in the early to mid 1900s. Depending on when your grandmother was born, it could well be the writing from somebody the generation above her. Hopefully somebody more trained in handwriting can confirm this.

However, the 'f' on the right is fundamentally different to the one on the left. On the left the crossbar is formed from the upper loop going upward over the stave from mid to high, as the first stroke of the letter. On the right the crossbar is formed by the lower loop coming upward and back to the stave from low to mid, and then moving rightward, as the very last stroke of the letter. Utterly different.
posted by Jehan at 8:37 PM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Thanks everyone. I am convinced. I really appreciate it because I am using a piece of her writing to create a gift for my ma, and I would be mighty embarrassed if I didnt even have a good sample. Looks like I need to find a better recipe!
posted by orangemacky at 8:41 PM on November 28, 2012

Look at the lowercase 'p's on the left, then on the right. They're definitely written by two different people.
posted by surenoproblem at 11:23 PM on November 28, 2012

I am going to disagree with the crowd. There are examples of the same letters being written differently on both sides. Some people just have inconsistent handwriting.
posted by gjc at 5:54 AM on November 29, 2012

It looks like different writers to me and I've spent a fair amount of time deciphering old handwriting. The big question is this: who is Susan? Is that your grandmother's name? Is it your mother's name? Is it an aunt? Is it someone who helped your grandmother when she got old? Did your grandmother ask Susan to make 1/2 the recipe and Susan wrote it down?
posted by mareli at 6:52 AM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

I'm not totally convinced. My guess before reading responses here was that the writing on the left was the same person years later or under different circumstances.

The dash of crossing the double t's is exactly the same.

The overall shape of "eggs."

The print style T's.

Most convincing for me, though, is the idiosyncratic pronounced tick at the point of lowercase c's.
posted by cmoj at 10:13 AM on November 29, 2012

I think this is the writing of 3 different people.

There's some printing in the upper left that looks entirely different from the cursive on either the right or left.
posted by yohko at 10:50 AM on November 29, 2012

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