|Before you spend too long on this one, I'm pretty sure it's not in English|
(photo by Marco Raaphorst)
Noun. Late 16th century.
[from CACO- + -GRAPHY, after orthography.]
1 Incorrect spelling; a bad system of spelling. L16
2 Bad handwriting; bad writing. M17
Do you have bad handwriting? Well, at least now you can put a fancy name to having the writing of a cack-handed three-year-old: "Calligraphy? Oh no. That's far too mainstream for my tastes. I prefer the art of cacography; that's much edgier." If you do have cacography, take solace in not being alone. In fact, you're in some pretty esteemed company, for not only do doctors and their infamously illegible prescriptions fill the ranks of the cacographists, but some of the world's most famous writers too (and, if you are frequently upbraided for leaving your spouse missives that even the NSA wouldn't be able to decipher, at least your notes' illegibility didn't kill anyone, which is not something that can be said for badly written medical notes). To illustrate some famous examples of cacography, I give you three samples - two are by world famous writers, and one is by a (moderately) famous murderer whose story has been covered in Lexicolatry.
Do you have cacography?
Does a partner's illegible writing really nib your ink?
Can you identity the murderer's handwriting and, even better, name the three sampled cacographists?
Do please leave your most illegible comments in the box below.