Be honest… are you one of those individuals who has a specially scrawled out type of signature that you have worked hard at perfecting over the years? You know, the kind that you have practiced incessantly, secretly, or perhaps even mindlessly since childhood. A signature that is not only highly unique, but also difficult to replicate or recognize in some instances–the kind that you are super proud of and the one that has since come to define you and your name on paper. Or, are you more similar to me in that your signature is basic, nothing fancy, just whatever comes off of the end of your fingers at the given moment? When I was younger, I will admit that I used to practice writing different versions of my first and last name quite often. Invariably, I would end up with the same rendition of each despite various attempts otherwise. Any time I tried something more adventurous, I could never seem to duplicate it again and so I just gave up trying at some point. My name is my name, whatever. Interestingly enough to this day, even with respect to my basic signature, I sometimes get asked to sign a second time since the person on the receiving end has difficulty determining if my signature is a match to the one on my identification or whatever else it is that they happen to be checking. Imagine the difficulty that I would get myself into if I tried signing something all flashy-like. Now, if you are reading this and you are thinking that you neither fall into the category of fancy-schmancy or basic, maybe you are a hybrid type of signer somewhere between myself and the others, which is okay too. After all, there’s no right or wrong way to be here.
My second question then is, what parts of your name do you tend to include in your signature and what is/are your reason(s)? Obviously, there are times when you are required to sign your name in full as is usually the case when filling out important documents, but in day-to-day circumstances, how do you choose to sign your name since it appears that everyone has a preference? For example, some people insist on always signing their full set of given names including their first, middle (often more than one) and last names, while other individuals flat-out refuse to sign anything of the sort, often using their more obscure initials wherever possible. Yet again, there is another subset of people who seem to like to resemble celebrity-types in signing only their first names, sometimes with symbols (i.e. hearts, swirls, curly-q’s) and the like to go with. Now, whether or not something such as the aforementioned is considered a ‘real’ signature is debatable, nonetheless I have seen it done.
While it is true that, nowadays, handwritten signatures are more commonly being replaced by less-telling digital versions, the manner in which a person handwrites their name is not only fascinating, but also very indicative of who they are as a person. Handwriting experts, behavioural psychologists and forensic investigators would likely agree since these specialists often have specific training in how to examine writing samples to identify possible personality characteristics and behaviours traits associated with one’s script. So even though we have all signed our names many, many times throughout our lives, have we ever really stopped to think that what we are really doing is communicating a message to others about who we are and how we wish to be perceived? My guess is no, since the actual act of signing one’s name requires mere seconds and little effort. However, each time we put a pen to paper to sign our name, we indeed make our mark as we leave behind a piece of us for all to see in black and white or whatever colour it is that you use, which brings me to question number three of my post…
Do you have to have your very own carefully selected pen to sign with–one that you carry with you at all times no matter what? I’m guessing that those of you with the highly perfected signatures would answer a definite yes to that question. For instance, my husband (a more fancy signer by my standards) prefers to write/sign with a black, liquid gel pen and a 0.7 mm bold point. Whereas I (the basic gal) prefer to use a medium ball point in blue, but really it doesn’t matter to me. I will clarify that I often do carry my own pen, but not because I am married to it and its results, rather more so because of my germ phobia. Hello, COVID-19, right?!? Of course, one’s choice of pen colour, point size and ink is also telling in many ways. When it really comes down to it, we just can’t get away from placing ourselves on display, can we? Simply put, our choices, be them as primary as what type of pen we use, help to define who we are.
One other little tidbit regarding signatures, if I remember correctly, is that my Baba (my mom’s mom) used to just sign some things with the letter ‘X’ since she didn’t read or understand much in English. She also lived in the early 1900’s when a handshake or someone’s word was taken at face value, ne’er a second thought given. My, times are different, aren’t they?! Or… are they? Now, the simple swipe of a card or the scan of an eyeball might be comparable to my Baba’s ‘X’ in some ways. I guess time will tell as technology continues to replace things with many more changes on their way given the coronavirus and its digital fingerprint throughout the world, both personally and in business. But that’s a WHOLE other ponderance for another time. Meanwhile, I am going to sign off with my favourite blogpost closing. Cheers!