I just looked up D’Nealian, and unless they’ve modified it over the years, it definitely isn’t what we were taught in elementary school (as previously mentioned, that was circa 1985 in a suburb of Vancouver, BC). D’Nealian seems more rounded and uses less rigidly repetitive forms than the hand they taught us. There was an ascending stroke that was bowed up in the middle (used to get to the top of a lowercase M or N, and also for the loops), a similar ascending stroke that was bowed down in the middle (used to start a lowercase I or B), a tall thin loop stroke for lowercase L (which was also used for the vertical components of B, D, F, etc., etc.), loop-closing strokes, and not a lot else. I think the only thing that wasn't rigidly standardized was the lowercase R, which resembled the D’Nealian one.
As you might imagine, a line of text written in this hand was almost impossible to read unless you already had some clue as to the content, or unless there were a lot of letters that stood out like i and t. The ONLY difference between a “u” and a “v”, for example, was that the departing stroke branched off halfway up the side of the V and at the bottom of the U. They were otherwise identical.
I suppose it had the advantage of being quick to learn, but when you consider how illegible the results tended to be, one has to wonder why they bothered.
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