Early afternoon and with extreme Friday energy, the Jezebel staff began discussing the fact that most of us have never seen each others’ handwriting, in part because handwriting is an increasingly rare facet of 21st century culture. After a brief assertion by Molly Osberg that her handwriting is “actually flawless,” and because we love a good competition, we devised a challenge in which 11 staffers would each anonymously handwrite a line from Britney Spears’s “Lucky,” and video producer Lisa Fischer would both judge the quality of the writing, as well as attempt to guess which fellow staffer wrote it.
Because we took this very seriously, entries were privately assigned and submitted to editor-in-chief Julianne Escobedo Shepherd, who then compiled and presented them to Fischer. Below are her assessments.
Lisa says: This bubble handwriting best embodies the spirit of Britney Spears in the year 2000.
Lisa’s guess: Ashley Reese
Actual writer: Ashley Reese
Lisa says: This handwriting starts off strong but then peters out toward the end. Just like Britney’s nemesis, Christina Aguilera’s career.
Lisa’s guess: Shannon Melero-Urena
Actual writer: Rich Juzwiak
Lisa says: This perfect script puts my own and all the other handwriting in this post to shame. Thank god for computers.
Lisa’s guess: Clover Hope
Actual writer: Emily Alford
Lisa says: Someone tell Britney because she needs to know, why do these tens (?) come at night?
Lisa’s guess: Megan Reynolds
Actual writer: Megan Reynolds
Lisa says: Of course the “B” outshines all the other letters. B for Britney.
Lisa’s guess: Kelly Faircloth
Actual writer: Clover Hope
Lisa says: This one also has the energy of a 2000s teen writing in her journal about how her parents won’t buy her tickets to the Britney concert.
Lisa’s guess: Maria Sherman
Actual writer: Kelly Faircloth
Lisa says: Confident and self-assured, but not trying too hard.
Lisa’s guess: Alexis Sobel Fitts
Actual writer: Maria Sherman
Lisa says: This handwriting is very tall, almost aspirational.
Lisa’s guess: Joan Summers
Actual writer: Joan Summers
Lisa says: Nothing says “I still write things by hand all the time” like a good old-fashioned pencil.
Lisa’s guess: Rich Juzwiak
Actual writer: Alexis Sobel Fitts
Lisa says: Is this Lucky’s handwriting? Bold, yet casual and flowing. The letters stand out in a crowd but their long tails are reaching toward something more fulfilling...
Lisa’s guess: Esther Wang
Actual writer: Esther Wang
Lisa says: Bold pen choice. Are they tears of blood?
Lisa’s guess: Emily Alford
Actual writer: Shannon Melero
After confirming that Lisa had never read anyone’s handwriting—too many correct guesses, which maybe says a lot about the correlation between personality and penmanship—she was asked to rate Best and Worst handwriting via lyric. The winner for best handwriting is “If there’s nothing missing in my life,” and the winner for worst goes to “She’s so lucky, but why does she cry.” Congratulations to all!