According to a handwriting analysis expert, Charles Dickens’ signature on his marriage certificate proves that he was “nervous” when he got married. “A strong right hand slant implies a heightened sense of emotion, while a curled stroke on the ‘D’ implies showmanship and self-defensiveness,” sayeth the expert. This apparently differs from other examples of Dickens’ penmanship.
Look, I may think Dickens is the most overrated writer ever, and Bleak House may have made me reconsider my college major, but I’m actually going to defend the guy. Lots of people are nervous on their wedding days, and it doesn’t mean they’re uncertain about the wedding in any way. Getting married is really nervewracking – all these people are staring at you, and you have to talk in public, and you’re about to change your life in a huge, meaningful way. Maybe you had a drink to loosen you up. Maybe you didn’t sleep well because you were so excited and anxious. Either way, despite the fact that the man is responsible for making writers think being paid by the word is a noble endeavor, I’m going to cut him slack for having a less-than-flawless signature on one of the most significant days of his life.