14 October 2019

Russian cursive looks like scribbles - updated

Image cropped for clarity from the original, where there is a little bit of relevant commentary about why this happens and how someone can use context to read it.  Readers here may be able to offer additional insights.

Addendum:   Several good comments from readers, and a hat tip to Aleksejs for providing this dissection of the cursive "chinchilla":

Addendum:  as several readers have noted, this is a good place to post a copy of Donald Trump's signature -


  1. When I studied Russian back in the day, they said writers underlined the "sh" (looks like two u's) to avoid confusion. However I notice they didn't do that here.

  2. At least the two fragments on the right contain doctors' writing, which tends to be awful regardless of language or script. Upper right is a standard form used by family doctors to record notes during visits, and lower right includes some telltale numbers: 36.6 - normal body temperature in °C, and 100/60, which could indicate rather low blood pressure in mm Hg.

    Specifically, these examples squeeze all letters into more-or-less the same height, when normally they would have clear ascenders and descenders, helping legibility. (Not the word in upper left though - that one is doomed to always be illegible in cursive.)

  3. It is usually not as bad. Typical Russian cursive looks like this:
    or this:

    There is of course some letter combinations that when combined are hard to decipher, but usually not as bad ad these examples. And bucaneer is totally right about doctors' writing.
    Here is chinchilla in Russian:

  4. Interesting to compare this with 45's signature...

  5. Came here to post exactly what Nora has already done. Glad to see I wasn't the only one!


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