Monday, December 11, 2006

Graphological Initiative

So the October 2006 issue of Wired had a full-page ad for TUL pens paired with an additional cardstock page with a postage-prepaid postcard that could be torn out. Both pages show a "Dr. Gerard Ackerman" looking at the camera with some sort of an "I'm smarter than you" smirk on his face, holding a metal clipboard, seemingly daring readers to mail in the attached postcard for a free graphological analysis. The part of the card stock page that one doesn't tear out has text on it that says "Share your handwriting with me and discover who you really are."

What one does is write a specific phrase on the card, I truly need a new pen., include an email address and mail in the card for analysis. I knew it was just a promotion for these pens, but TUL (really OfficeMax) had already paid for the postage, so I did it. I also thought they might send me a free pen. I received the email with a link to my "results" last week and would like to share.

UPDATE: email actually received the last week of October. I've had this saved as a draft for awhile.

The email was short and pretty much just contained a link to click on. "Results" is in quotes above because what I was given is not a personalized analysis of what I actually wrote on the postcard. This was disappointing, but what could I have expected, right? It's free. The general web site is here, where you can have your own handwriting "analyzed" without mailing in anything.

The web site gives its analysis of your handwriting by asking you a series of questions about the characteristics that appear as you write the phrase I wrote on the postcard. The characteristics are 1) Slant; 2) Size; 3) Spacing; 4) your capital "I"; 5) your lowercase "t"; and 6) your lowercase "y." I won't bore you with the respective options for these characteristics, but suffice it to say there are quite a few permutations that TUL had to make separate results videos for.

My results

My handwriting slants to the right (extroverted, emotionally responsive, trusting) and is medium-sized (average) with narrow spacing (conservative, inner strength, uptight, inhibited, aloof, emotionally remote, frugal).

For my capital "I," the tail of the "I" is dominant (dominant father and a lame who's your daddy with pimp graphic joke in the video). My lowercase "t" has a short crossbar (matter-of-fact, efficient, proficient) and my lowercase "y" has a full, almost voluptuous loop (physical, imaginative, flexible, uninhibited, direct).

Putting all that together for a coherent profile is pretty much impossible. You can see from my results that I am both emotionally responsive and emotionally remote, extroverted and uptight/aloof, inhibited and uninhibited, and trusting and frugal. I'm not sure how to add in the other characteristics, but I'm sure if I consult my astrological forecast I'll be pointed in a direction.

Any direction.

Of course the good doctor uses the results to make a particular pen recommendation using his apparently summarizing title of my characteristics, "Captain of the Boardroom."

No free pen.

My favorite pen right now (yes, it changes. Past honors have gone to the Uni-ball Vision Exact and Uni-ball Vision) is one I received as a promotion from my investment advisor at a brokerage firm. Of course the firm's logo is laser engraved on the cap, but the pen is solid brass, so it has a nice weight and balance to it. It's the BL8650S: Latitud Rollerball Pen of the Basics line offered by Logomark, Inc. It has nice, smooth rollerball ink and a consistent ink flow for easy writing. And it came with a certificate for 5 free refills. The site has a "refill wizard" and appears to have refills to fit lots of different pens, not just ones from Logomark. You pay shipping, but $4.95 isn't too bad for some quality ink.

Do I think too much about pens?

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