Brugmannalysis

What's in a cryptic, one-sentence note? A lot, if it's penned by Bay Guardian Publisher Bruce Brugmann.

9) Work-directed:"The height of a letter denotes ego, and how the person sees themselves. The 'B''s [in his signature] are not really high -- broad, but not high. Because he has this very amorphous signature, unless you knew who it was, there's no way you'd guess whose initials these were. Because the rest of the writing is a lot more clear, and even the salutation is a lot clearer, it shows that he relies for his own self-satisfaction and pride more on what he does than who he is. On the other hand, this could show he doesn't feel the need to project his personality, because the [reader] already knows or should know who he is."

10) Brutish?:"The heaviest pressure on the page is the underscore and you can kind of equate this to something we call the 'de Gaulle Dot.' After de Gaulle would write his name, he'd put a strong dot, like a period. It meant, essentially, 'I have spoken.' It's kind of the same way with this graphic gesture. If someone has self-esteem problems, self-confidence problems, from a graphotherapy perspective, we say, 'Why don't you start underlining your name?' It's a self-affirming gesture. When you feel under his name, especially before the pen caught, it's heaviest in the first half. If he had been writing that with a pencil, I know the lead would've broken. Breaking the pencil would really denote a brute."

11) Resistant:"If you think of the page as how we move through life, the left-hand margin represents the past, tradition, safety. The right-hand margin represents risk-taking, reaching out to others, moving on. When you've got a wider right-hand margin, it means there's an avoidance. In the first line, he could've put 'trust' after 'anybody,' but he didn't. This shows he's resisting something in the future. He's reticent -- either reticent to move on and make a decision, or struggling with a decision, or fearful to venture into new territory. Or he feels a reticence toward the recipient."

12) Content:"Considering the size of the writing, I don't see huge control issues. He's very much in control of himself and is confident in how he impresses himself upon his environment. He doesn't feel the need to dominate those around him -- present company excluded, perhaps. There is good rhythm in his writing, which shows someone who knows himself well. He likes himself just fine, the way he is. His [handwriting] is flamboyant and bombastic. It's just that he's got these two things going on -- this big surface personality, but internally and in personal relationships, I think he has difficulties. Large writing also denotes a degree of generosity. I think with anything he cares about he is generous. He doesn't just have a narrow mind and only think in one track. He's willing to consider other people's viewpoints. But he's not willing to change easily to their viewpoints. A vertical slant [to the writing], which I realize is an oxymoron, indicates objectivity, but also independence. So if he thinks he's right, he sees no reason to change his mind."

*Graphology divides handwriting into three zones: the upper, the middle, and the lower, which correspond to Freud's superego, ego, and id. The upper, Hall says, "is the intellectual and spiritual zone," while the lower represents "the material or physical world," which she says "includes any kind of sexual or physical activity."

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