I left you with some homework in the last post: collect some examples of writing, including your own, and note where the i dots are placed. I hope you have made a collection and taken a look at your own writing.
This single stroke is not the sole indicator of detail orientation but it offers a strong clue. It only makes sense when you think about the logic of it. As a writer moves along from left to right across each line at some point the letter i needs some extra attention because it is a two-part letter. The letter is not complete without the dot. Will he stop mid-word and put it in right then and there or will he wait until he gets to the end of the word and then go back to add each missing dot?
This discussion is about where the i dot is placed, not the shape of it. So, to sum up: consistently and precisely placed i dots in alignment with and close to the lower part of the letter show evidence of strong attention to detail. It takes not only time; it takes mental discipline to do that.
It indicates that the writer's conscious attention is in the present moment. It is not lagging behind, which is the case when i dots are placed to the left of the lower part of the letter, (let's tag that as procrastination about tending to detail) nor is his mind racing ahead to what is coming in the future when his i dots are written to the right of the stem. Such a writer may miss paying attention to what he is doing and make mistakes or even fail to 'live' the moment because his mind is already trying to live the next.
Very few writers are totally consistent in making each of their letters the same. You are most likely to find some variation. (Take a look at the Copybook example post where you won't find that. And to think that our teachers tried to get us to imitate that boring writing and gave us a poor grade when we couldn't do it for the life of us.)
To a "detail-conscious person" being precise about placing i dots is as natural is breathing so there is no feeling of strain. Can a person become obsessive and compulsive about it? Yes, and there will probably be indicatiors of other traits that are close relatives of attention to detail, such as, precision, perfectionism, and concentration.
We can only hope that a writer with strong detail consistency will see it as a special gift and thus seek employment where that strength can be put to good use. Otherwise, he will feel like a fish out of water.
Does that mean all accountants show that indicator? Nope. Maybe computer programs make up for the lack if the handwriting does not show it. (Always remember an analyst considers the whole of a sample, not just a few indicators in isolation.)
Some writers omit i dots consistently. Why? The answer can be anything from an "I don't care" attitude of carelessness to an affected "I like the way my individualistic style of artistic writing looks." If the writing is largely legible the reader can get the intended message, with or without the dots. If it is not entirely legible then i dots help the reader sort out the meaning.
Occasionally, you may see an i dot cleverly connected to the following letter without a lift of the pen. It is common to find in certain combinations such as, in. It can be a strong indicator of intelligence so keep an eye out for it. It is fun to find. It goes hand in hand with a fluid, fast-moving way of thinking and reasoning.
Isn't it curious how such a seemingly little thing can tell so much about a person? Well, so can the shape of the stroke that is suppose to be a dot, but may be anything but.
I will share a few of the possibilities in the next post.