Spacing between words

One of the most original contributions of Morettian thought concerns the analogic interpretation of the space that exists between the words, seen as an indicator of the disposition to criticism and argument, namely the ability of the mind to interweave all the elements considered into a rigid game of logical relations. It represents an important component of individual intellectual potential. In fact, it is obvious that at the intelligence level it is not enough just to understand, but we also need to know how to prove, and this is the task of argument, graphologically expressed through the Spacing between words sign.
We are dealing with one of the most fascinating faculties of the human mind, that can collaborate with intuition and give the best of itself, or totally detach itself from intuitive knowledge of life, and arrive at apparently rational ‘logical’ constructions, but with a destructive, disruptive impact. All this from the same faculty, revealed by the Spacing between words sign, that is the power of human critical thought, whether for good or ill. This graphological sign, quite complex to define in all its interpretative nuances, greatly affects the structure of the psyche not only at the intellectual level, but with important and immediate repercussions even at the emotional, social and relational level in general.
In order to understand the sign we need to see whether it is average, below-average or above-average and whether it is balanced or unbalanced. All these considerations start with the measurement of the actual sign. It is interesting to note that the measurement is not absolute, but depends on the ‘Letter width’ sign, the importance of which we now begin to understand at the level of the psyche’s balance. According to Moretti, if between one word and another it is possible to insert, close together, 4 average letters belonging to that writing, the sign is around 5/10, an indicator of equilibrium in the use of critical abilities.

  • Fig. 11 – Albert Einstein’s handwriting in a context of letter width (7-8/10, profundity of intelligence) and spacing between letters (6-7/10, indicator of generosity)
    Handwriting sample: Albert Einstein

If between one word and another it is possible to insert 8 letters, the Spacing between words sign is around 10/10, indicator of accentuated hypercriticism which upsets the equilibrium of intelligence since

the impulse to argument and criticism in this case is not sustained by proportional strength of intelligence. (Moretti 1972, p. 152)

All the other values are calculated accordingly.

This is as far as measurement is concerned.
As regards the equilibrium of the sign, generally speaking we consider:

The greater that the degree of ‘Spacing between words’ corresponds to the degree of ‘Width of letters and spacing between letters’, the more it is an indicator of a balanced argument. (Moretti 1968, p. 211)

The spacing between words is considered acceptable, moreover, if it does not go below 2/10. Any value above 6/10, however, must be carefully considered in the context to which it belongs.
We shall now see the psychological reasons for the above.
Spacing between words, as stated above, in Morettian graphology represents the indicator of critical thought: the individual, by means of this function, distances himself from the perceptible and immediate world in order to evaluate, using judgement, that which becomes the object of experience.

“The Spacing between words sign allows the subject the impulse to argument, judgement and criticism and this impulse belongs to those who tend to cultivate the mental faculties.” (Moretti 1962, p. 146)

In order to bring to conclude what we undertake in the form of a system, characterised by logical capabilities and consequential capacities, the Spacing between words sign is indispensable, which, even if it is above average, must maintain a certain equilibrium, because if the faculty is expanded excessively it leads to a taste for argument, and therefore to delay, and it has difficulty concluding.

Intuitively, it appears clear that if the faculty is not very developed (under 5/10), the personality remains a little unprotected in judgement. Even a very intelligent person, with a below-average ‘Spacing between words’ sign, will not be able to defend himself at an argumentative level: he can sense the greatness and refinement of a truth, but it will not know how to give it that scientific imposition necessary in order to withstand attacks. For this reason Moretti specifies that the below-average Spacing between words sign belongs more to art than science, intending to imply that the individual is inclined to relate to the world through intuition or aesthetic sentiment or narration, but not through a formal logical method. A scientist with a below-average Spacing between words can however capable of realising significant inventions and discoveries, but will lack the scientific imposition of the demonstration of that discovered. In this sense he would be a scientist-artist, in that he senses the organisation principles in perceivable reality by means of original intuition.

  • Fig. 12 – Below-average spacing between words (3/10)
    fig. 12

The Spacing between words sign of around 3-4/10, though below-average, is not considered an indicator of imbalance in that it is however sufficient to guarantee the personality an ordinary wariness, so as not to fall into the deception of those who are more astute, especially if the graphic context is characterised by practical intuition (Methodically uneven), as in the example shown above.
The sign becomes an indicator of a certain mental weakness from 2/10 and under, in that the personality is subject to forms of naivety, easy credulity, and

ineptitude in using suspicion when expediency requires it. (Moretti 1971, p. 119)

In fact,

naivety is the same as tendency to believe without control. (Moretti 1974, p. 73)

Moreover, the lack of perspective vision and far-sighted viewing leads intelligence to forms of superficiality and recklessness of action. It gives the instinctiveness to accept the moment, without the possibility of entering into a vision mediated by careful deliberation.

The Spacing between words sign of 5/10 represents the equilibrium given by the openness of intelligence and the tendency to criticism that move with the same force. The two faculties must be harmonised between themselves so that the mind can work at its best and the former serves as a tape measure with which to evaluate the latter, since the critical function (Spacing between words) takes over after the intellect has embraced (Spacing between letters and Letter width) that which it wants to make the object of attention.
As the spacing between words in handwriting increases, it consequently increases the powers of the critical faculties, judgement and argument within the personality, creating an increasingly marked contradiction between the function of cerebral thought which becomes dominant, and intuition and sentiment that tend to be increasingly devalued.
For a long time Moretti asked himself up to what point can the mind support an increase in critical faculties without them unilaterally weighing too much on the psyche. His brilliant intuition concerning this issue was that the critical faculties (Spacing between words) must be at least proportionate to the profundity of intelligence (Width of letters) and to the openness of sentiment (Spacing between letters). Otherwise, the critical faculties, fed on sectoral vision (Narrowness of letters) and sentiment’s sophistry and avarice (Narrowness between letters), cannot but generate strange creatures that, by dint of cavilling with too many arguments and without a broad comprehension of the nature of that being examined, are incoherent due to excessive cerebralism and the unilateral attachment to it, as if it were the only method of relating with the world.

When the Spacing between words sign arrives at values greater than 6/10 it is always necessary to consider the context to which it belongs, since the psychological interpretation of the sign can significantly diverge.
If, in the handwriting, there is a great space between the words (Spacing between words of 7-8/10), but in keeping with the letter width (Letter width of 7-8), in this case the power of critical thought is sustained by the profundity of intelligence: it is therefore the basic combination that characterises superior intelligence, as we see, for example, in Newton’s handwriting.

  • Fig. 13 – Above-average Spacing between words but proportional to the letter width (Isaac Newton’s handwriting)
    Handwriting sample: above-average spacing between words


Newton represents the graphological ‘genius’, in the sense that apart from the disposition towards original intuition (Methodically uneven), it shows the proportionate intellectual potential (superior triple width) so that the creative faculties can best be realised. Moreover, the context shows calm, clarity, constancy, tenacity and independence, that is to say also the proportional motivational context so that the creative faculties can be brought to practical realisation.

When the Spacing between words sign is very high (7-8/10) but is not supported by a corresponding letter width, the subject is however fascinated by his mental endowments which he tends to put forward, though he is easily goes too far owing to hypercriticism.
Hypercriticism is the faculty of the mind that has difficulty arriving at conclusions because it is never content with what it has acquired and always argues again in attempting to arrive at definitive certainties.

  • Fig. 14 – Excessive spacing between words compared to letter width (Winston Churchill’s handwriting)
    Handwriting sample: excessive spacing between words

Churchill’s handwriting reveals this tendency of critical thought to not be satisfied with itself. The personality becomes exacting concerning explanations and hypercriticism and never finds them sufficient or complete; then deciding to move into action becomes an effort, because the subject mistrusts direct and instinctive action and finds that action mediated by reasoning is not well substantiated.

However, the Spacing between words sign contains great appeal within itself, because

the richness of argument serves in a sense to bewitch. (Moretti 1968, p. 59)

The personality is capable of originality of concept, of new and original arguments, introduced with independence and a delight for provocation (if the sign is marked), because the subject has the interior resources to withstand and oppose the weight of convention. It is a typical sign of resistance, because it goes directly to the assertion and does not yield, since it is an indicator

of the ability to argue until the opponent is defeated. (Moretti, 1960, p. 155).

However, when the Spacing between words sign is 10/10, it is always an indicator of the personality’s imbalance, in advance of the value that other signs can take on, due to the unyielding hypercriticism, the constant lucubrations, that lead the subject outside reality, therefore, by means of its arguments it distances itself from the same reality. The continual cycle of criticism that the personality implements in every situation in life becomes the dominant function of the psyche, which wants to use this instrument to discard every element that sounds ambiguous in order to reach the safety of objectivity of the mind that is reasoning.

  • Fig. 15 – Spacing between words greater than 10/10 (child, 11 year-old)
    Handwriting sample: spacing between words greater than 10/10

It is impossible to continue with this single mental function, however, because the marked criticism, by its very nature, subtracts every value from the evaluations of sentiment and intuition, which are those faculties that give the impulse necessary not only to move onto action, but also to understand reality in its complexity.

Apart from the possible imbalance of the Spacing between words sign compared to the Width of letters sign, the graphical context and the possible presence of other signs that might support or soften the needs of critical thought must also be evaluated.
Small size, for example, strengthens cerebral predominance, while large size tones down and leads spacing between words to organisation with the exterior.
The Essential sign, which itself is an indicator of essentiality and laconism, when associated with accentuated spacing between words could support the subject’s social isolation.
Above-average spacing between letters makes criticism less demanding, since sentiment is inclined to generosity; conversely the narrowness between letters, indicator of sophistry, supports the interplay of hypercritical thought.
The graphological Spacing between words sign, therefore, must be considered not only within the triple width but assessed and understood in the graphical context to which it belongs.