HomeCurriculum ReviewsLearning Italics with Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting


Learning Italics with Perfect Reading, Beautiful Handwriting — 8 Comments

  1. I think I can answer your question about the 2-stroke ‘e’ : when using a calligraphy pen with a wider nib, you need to use 2 strokes so that the ink flows correctly and doesn’t scratch the paper when moving up against the flow of the nib. Of course, when using a ball-point pen, one doesn’t need to worry about that and it seems silly and awkward. I hope this makes sense. I enjoyed your review and agree with you and your children about it.

    Have a great week, and happy writing!

    • The two-stroke “e” is actually much older than the current one-stroke “e” (which didn’t come about till just 400+ years ago). Fun fact: like other lowercase letters, the two-stroke “e” derives from the capital letter; you can see this by thinking of the 2nd stroke as being a “shortcut” version of the top & middle horizontals of the capital “E.”

      Kate Gladstone
      Director, World Handwriting Contest
      CEO, Handwriting Repair/Handwriting That Works

  2. The reason for the two-stroke “e”(which the older, Renaissancrcway of writing this lower-case letter) is that it means the “e” is formed without an accident-prone loop, by starting at the top instead of in the middle or at the bottom. In my own 30 years of experience as an Italic teacher, I’ve found that about half of my students (and I myself) do better with the two-stroke “e,” while the other half do better with the more recent one-stroke “e.” To see which works best for you or anyone else, have yourself (or your student, if you were helping someone else) write a page full of words and sentences which each include several instances of the letter “e”: including some instances of “e.” First write them with the present-day one-stroke “e” — then the same ones with the Renaissance two-stroke “e” — Then repeat once or twice more, sone minutes later. Words and sentences that I currently use for such an exploration of the letter “e” are “element / beekeeper / We remember September the eleventh.”

  3. Re:
    “I’ll be keen though to hear from someone who does have those difficulties whether they found using italics helped!”
    Well, I’m 56 years old, and my handwriting was always slow and illegible till I started studying italic at age 24. These days, I teach italic handwriting and direct the World Handwriting Contest. Will that do?

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