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Succession of m’s and n’s and of u’s

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I apologise if this question has been brought up before on the forum (I did a few searches but was not able to find anything relevant).

One of the Spencerian rules is that connecting strokes are written at a 30 degree angle, i.e. significantly less steep than the standard 52 degree angle that is used for downstrokes.

My question relates to the angle of the upstrokes in characters such as m, n and u.  I had understood (perhaps wrongly) that these strokes also have a 30 degree angle.

Now, m, n and u contain more than one upstroke.  If these upstrokes are written at the 30 degree angle, it becomes hard to distinguish two successive m’s (as in “immediate”) or a succession of an m and and n (as in “penman”), or a succession of u’s (as in “continuum”).

I try to fix this by writing the first upstroke at a 30 degree angle, and the following upstroke(s) at an angle that is a bit steeper.  That results in the connecting stroke taking a bit more space then the space between the upstrokes within the letter.  See the enclosed sample of “penman”.

In the enclosed sample of “continuum” I wrote all upstrokes of the two successive u’s at the same angle, which results in the connecting stroke to have the same with as the letter u — making (at least in my neophyte eye) the succession of the two u’s less easy to read.

Are there other/better solutions? Or am I just wrong as to the angle to use for the second/third upstroke?

I do not know the exact answers to your specific questions. However, I have found David DiGiovanni’s breakdown of the geometry of the minuscule “m” here to be very instructive. Yes, he is writing with his arm in this  series but that does not change the geometry.

I might add that in the “ Spencerian Standard Writing” exemplar, it bears out your thought that the connecting stroke between letters might be a bit steeper. My feeling is that the naturally occurring compound curve between such letters requires some change in the geometry.

This also shows the 1-1/4 space between letters, except when going into the lowercase a, g, q, etc.

@Zivio Thanks much. I had seen that video (and a few others). But it does not solve my problem.
When you write another m after the first m, the “right curve” (the exit stroke) at the end of the first m needs to be converted in to a “compound” curve (since the exit stroke morphs into what is the “left curve” that forms the first portion of the following m).
Such a compound curve closely resembles the two following “left curves”. That is what makes it difficult to “see” two distinct “m’s”, rather than six “left curves” written in parallel, and that is why I adjust the angle of the second and the third “left curve”, so as to make the space between the two m’s appear larger.
But, again, I may be missing something.

Erica McPhee:
Excellent information @Zivio ! And what a great find on the spacing reference.

@Vintage_BE , I recall reading and taking note from an archive that the first stroke of the n and m are connector strokes, and thus the n doesn’t have 2 “humps” and the m doesn’t have 3 “humps.” Of course, those are non-technical terms. I will try to find the source and also look for other mentions of this circumstance.


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