chapter  7
32 Pages

Special Problems in the Discrimination and Identification of Writing

ByHeidi H. Harralson, Larry S. Miller

Handwritten initials are an incidence of writing separate and apart from the execution of a signature. Numerals and other non-alphabetic compositor's job case characters are those characters that normally occupy a space in the type case that was used for many years in the days when compositors set type by hand. Within the general category of dingbats or iconic symbols there are check marks and cross marks. Unlike numerals and other characters that are usually executed in conjunction with textual material of some sort, check marks and cross marks are seldom minor parts of a larger problem of writing identification. Alford provided a classic example of a case in which the discrimination between the numerals of a small population of writers is possible while applying the Bayes Theorem and the likelihood ratio to handwriting examination. The handwriting examiner is typically cognizant of the limitations of his or her experience and knowledge insofar as the particular material undergoing study.