The graphologist is interested in the first letter of a written word because it reveals how the writer grasps new situations, adjusts to new settings and environments, and generally begins a new job. Just as a guy entering a room for the first time is always in the spotlight, the first letter of a written word reveals how a person acts when he senses that attention is being drawn to him. To begin writing a word, simply and obviously translate “start” into the graphologist’s language. We must remember that, unlike the cross of the t, the dot on the I punctuation, and the end-stroke, the first letter of a word’s commencing stroke is not tied to the preceding word, allowing the writer to move his pen in whatever way he wishes, consciously or unconsciously.
A very narrow first letter, for example, indicates first shyness, whereas a very broad first letter indicates initial lack of control and planning. Writers who use a fancy ornamental stroke to enhance their first letter are arrogant. Showing off, over-compensation of inferiority problem, and self-dramatization are used by writers with disproportionately high first letters to combat their own lack of self-confidence.
The initial letter will reveal whether the writer begins operations with or without any starting strokes, indicating the degree of rapidity in comprehending situations and adjusting to new environments. If he makes a preparation stroke, it may move in the intended direction (to the right), like a guy running before jumping, or it may go in the opposite way, reflecting the writer’s difficulty in breaking his attachment to the past and to some old environment. Almost the same may be said about how a writer begins a regular day’s work. It reveals whether he requires time for preparation, whether he is a procrastinator or a fusspot who lacks objectivity, or whether he has fast perceptions and jumps right into the activity.
In terms of the behavior of the newcomer who believes he is in the spotlight, the first letter will clearly demonstrate if the writer acts spontaneously or makes an attempt to impress and bring attention to himself, or does the exact opposite and tries to be as unobtrusive as possible. When he acts naturally, his true level of self-assurance, reliance on others’ opinions, modesty or pride, as well as his capacity to appraise new situations, are revealed. His tact, as well as the contrary characteristics, will shine through. All of the characteristics are displayed in the manner the first letter is written, from self-dramatization to abject understatement, from natural greatness to natural modesty.
It’s also interesting to see where the writer starts writing on the page and how he starts each sentence. The writer who begins a work towards the upper edge of the page is unorthodox and unconventional in his approach to new challenges, and as a result, lacks tact at times. Conventions are respected by the writer who begins at a normal height. When a writer starts too low, he or she ends up overdoing it.
Large margins on the left suggest a high level of life that does not require the writer to cut corners. Small margins combined with narrow writing indicate deliberate over-economy; when combined with normal writing, they show that the writer came from an environment that forced him to economize, at least for a time; when combined with very broad writing, it shows that the writer wants to claim every inch of space for himself.
A consistent distance from the left edge demonstrates consistency and discipline in behavior as exhibited through excellent manners. If the margin begins narrow and gradually widens, it suggests a desire to save money that the writer is unable to keep up with. It also demonstrates a proclivity for exhaustion. A wide margin that narrows over time indicates that the generosity was simply feigned, and the writer actually wants to save his pennies. It also implies that as a worker, he begins carelessly and gradually becomes more diligent as the job progresses.
The first letter of a person’s signature should be studied carefully. The significance of the signature stems from the fact that it conveys the writer’s individuality to the world, as Max Pulver argues. On the one hand, a man is rarely disposed to change his signature because it has become a kind of imprint and has gained some notoriety; on the other hand, it often stays a reflection of the writer’s personality at an earlier time while his usual writing has changed. As a result, the disparity between the writing of the text and the signature is highly telling. The first letter of the signature should once again be the focal point. It shows if the writer has more self-admiration than he admits (if the signature is larger than the text) or less (if the signature is smaller than the text) (if the text is larger than the signature). It also reveals whether he is as ambitious as he appears (mounting signature, while the lines of the text do not go upwards).
A comparison of the first letter of the Christian name, surname, and titles has unique significance. It demonstrates the writer’s level of importance for each of them. People who (a) have strong feelings about their youth, when their surname was unimportant; (b) who want to be known by everyone under their Christian name; (c) who for some reason despise their second name, such as a married woman who despises her husband and regrets her marriage; people of foreign descent who want to hide the foreign name that gives it away, and so on, will emphasize the first letter of their Christian name. When possible, some folks will omit the second name from their signature altogether.
The first letter of the second name will be emphasized by everybody who (i) is proud of his name for clannish or other reasons; (ii) dislikes privacy and wishes to be taken objectively on his personal value. People who are like this will occasionally abandon their Christian names entirely. The importance placed on the first letters of titles reveals the title’s inner meaning.
|Very narrow first letter indicates initial shyness
|Very broad first letter indicates lack of control and forethought
|First letter enriched with vertical ornamental stroke suggests impudence, arrogant vulgarity
|First letter with initial arc far below and moving left and upwards suggests broad, appealing gestures and speech with an actor or orator personality
|Shorter stroke after initial stroke suggests ambition
|Initial stroke extended to underline the word indicates conviction of own importance and self-admiration
|Rising strokes suggest dependence on public opinion and acknowledgement, the inferiority complex of the ambitious
|Descending strokes indicate aristocratic feeling, pride, and arrogance
|Very high first letter indicates fighting against own lack of self-confidence by showing-off, over-compensation of inferiority complex, self-dramatization
|Initial stroke with large point suggests enjoying of material achievements and pleasures
|First letter without starting stroke indicates quick calculation, activation without preparation
|Long starting strokes suggests aggressive and cumbersome preparations, busy-body, fusspot
|Initial stroke that extended with an arcade to the left suggests self-protecting gesture, covering front and back and avoiding of responsibilities
|Initial stroke that touch the head of the letter suggests heavy strain in mastering affairs
|Inflated top loop of the first letter highlights a dreamy and muddle-head personality
|Lasso-like stroke indicates shrewdness and fixed ideas
|Initial strokes with hooks suggests persistence and pigheadedness
|Squarish strokes indicate interest in building and technical work.
|Broad triangular strokes indicate vanity, with tendency to put everything on a solid material basis
|Letter that splits into parts suggest mixture of many ideas, shrewd, and finding difficult to work on normal lines