A Woman’s Handwriting? Is there such a thing? Holmes and Lestrade Argue.

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Holmes smiled thinly at Lestrade, and set aside the lavender-scented letter with it’s swooping, swirling message.

He said, “Come now, Inspector. Think. I’ll grant you it reads like blackmail, but you have no reason to put it down to a woman. You know as well as I do. One can do wonders with other people’s expectations.”

Pall Mall Gazette Advertisement, December 1893

He flipped open the latest Gazette and pointed to an advertisement. “Goodness knows what this Prof. Muller would do if I applied for a specialist in the lady-civil-servant hand.”

Answer: No such thing!

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An expert agrees:

Wrong question,” says Barnard Collier on Quora. “The right one may be: Why can’t we distinguish between male and female handwriting?

Our company www.graphologyconsulting.com has for almost a quarter century collected, analyzed, and evaluated the handwriting of more than 130,000 medical doctors and nurses worldwide, plus an equal number of people from various professions and walks of life, and among many financial classes, and if there was or is, at present, a way to pinpoint the difference on a gender-based scale, we haven’t found it. Nor has any other expert biometric graphologist, and pattern recognition tests may enjoy a 6 to 4 chance of deducing gender from pixel-level scans and associated algorithms.

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