13. The Letter “M”

Free Article about Handwriting Analysis

From “Sunday Lessons III”


  • Sunday Lesson #13: The Letter “M”

By Dr. Erika M. Karohs

To most handwriting analyst the three-pronged letters “M” or “m” are only significant as indicators for self-consciousness. If the third “hump” is the highest, this reveals self-consciousness or the fear of ridicule.

Well informed analysts, on the other hand, know that much more information is to be gleaned from these letters and, most importantly, that all three prongs or “humps” are equally informative.

Max Pulver, a renowned Swiss graphologist, identifies the first prong with the I, (the writer himself); the second prong with the you (family members, close friends) and the third point with it (other people in the writer’s environment).


  • Letter height in M even

image011People who are satisfied with their position write both strokes equally high. In an otherwise harmonious writing, this means inner balance and contentment. These writers do not try to appear what they are not.


Usually, they also write the capitals H, K, N, and R of even height, and the proportion of middle zone height to upper zone height is harmonious.


  • Letter height in M increasing

image012With the third prong the highest of the three, the writer feels less important than his family or people in his environment. Pulver speaks very fittingly of the “frog perspective.”

The writer is ill at ease in the presence of others or in new and unfamiliar situations. Meeting strangers is difficult for him. Unfamiliar surroundings and people put him off. In any public appearance, he feels strained and ill at ease. Supervision makes them nervous. He may want to do the best job of which he is capable, but he cannot do it easily with someone looking over his shoulder.

One source of his nervousness is focusing too much on what people think of him. He feels that others’ criticism is always about him and he worries about that. He becomes aware of even the smallest of his own actions and such awareness then impairs his ability to perform effectively.

Usually, this person performs just as well as less self-conscious people but he rarely gets as much credit for it. He hides his light under the proverbial bushel. He feels, and is, for the most part, overlooked. He waits for the breaks rather than making opportunities for himself or letting people know about his talents and capabilities. Because he, himself, does not do things with style and showmanship, he thinks there is something exaggerated about such a procedure.

Self-consciousness often results in envy and the ambition to rise to the same level as the people to whom the writer has to look up to. He may be jealous of the rank or station enjoyed by those above him. Self-consciousness may be a motivator to strive to attain a position that is higher up, more lofty and elevated.

  • With the second and third prong higher than the first, the writer puts both family and society above himself.


  • With the third prong higher and the first and second prong of even height, the writer feels equal to friends and family but defers to the public and people in authority.



  • Letter height in M decreasing

People who feel superior because of their position, title or station in life, will write the first stroke higher than the second and third. They are condescending with their family and close friends and with the public.




  • Letter “M” starting with very high downstroke

A very high downstroke signifies egocentricity and exalted ego demands. The writer has an authoritarian disposition. Exaggerated pride and arrogance are strong. Whether in a conversation or on the job, these writers make excessive demands on others’ time and resources. They always put their own concerns first.



  •  With the first and second prong even and the third prong shorter, the writer feels equal with and esteems his family but feels superior and patronizing toward the public.




  • With the second prong higher than the first and the third, the writer experiences a special kind of pride because of an elevated position in the present after a more modest life in the past.


According to Preyer, this pride continues to exist “despite friction in the family because of the elevation of this particular family member.Preyer explains that he did many comparisons of before and after writing samples and found that the second stroke of the M was not higher before the change took place in these people’s lives. Preyer calls this “the pride of the social climber who looks down upon his modest past.”


  • Letter M with the second stroke shortest and sinking below the baseline

The writer’s interest in centered around tangible things and he enjoys money and material possessions. He cherishes the prestige and superiority his belongings provide. This is especially true when the letter starts with a possessiveness point. image019


Such people feel superior to family and friends but defer to society and the public. According to Pulver, this is typical for many politicians who have little regard for their family but acquiesce to public opinion.


  • Letters “m” and “n” with sharply pointed downstrokes

These strokes are difficult to produce and occur only in slow writing.

The writer is derisive, scornful and bitter. He delights in inflicting hurt in a planned way, for instance with poison-pen letters or by defaming innocent people. (He usually will not be personally present to watch the suffering.) He has a tendency to provoke others and deliberately incites quarrels among the people in his environment. On the other hand, he is extremely sensitive himself and reacts with unwarranted fury when criticized.



I hope you are enjoying this exercise and feel that you are learning from it.

Best regards,

Erika M. Karohs, Ph. D., Ed. D.


  • Max Pulver, Symbolik der Handschrift (Zürich: Orell Füssli Verlag, 1931), p. 63
  • Wilhelm Preyer, Zur Psychologie des Schreibens (Leipzig: Verlag von Leopold Voss, 1928), p. 97.
  • Possessiveness points are explained in detail in: Dr. Erika M. Karohs, Handwriting Analysts’ Companion, volume 3, p. 283 available at Here
  • Max Pulver, Symbolik der Handschrift (Zürich: Orell Füssli Verlag, 1931), p. 63



Complete Chapter:

back to Free ARTICLE  1. Rolled Strokes  2. Air Strokes & Alignments  3. Thinking Patterns (1)   4. Thinking Patterns Continued (2)    5. Thinking Patterns Continued (3)    6. Accident Proneness    7. Answers to Quiz from Lesson from No.6    8. More Answers from Lesson from No. 6  9. More Air stroke Discussion   10. Directional Pressure   11. Double Curves   12. Non-Manager Discussions   13. The Letter “M”   14. Soldered (sautered) writing 15. 2 Most Frequent Questions   16. Emphasis


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