Handwriting queries in the DNE collection

Here it is folks! The first in our series of posts to help decipher handwriting in the word-file collection for the DNE. We came across this file just this morning in the S withdrawn files. What we have been able to decipher is typed below the card.

Word-file for ‘sealing station’. Reproduced by permission of the English Language Research Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL.

“sealing station

Mainland writer using [indecipherable]




We thought that the indecipherable word might be ‘unknown’. What do you think?

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8 Responses to Handwriting queries in the DNE collection

  1. terrambarrett says:

    Unknown was my thought as well. Seems to fit the context of the card as well!

  2. terrambarrett says:

    Unknown was my thought too. Fits with the context as well!

    • suzannepower says:

      I’ve had a couple of votes for ‘unknown’, Terra. That’s what I thought but now I’m starting to think it may be ‘northern’, mostly because there are two tall letters and what looks like the cross of a ‘t’. Thanks for weighing in!

  3. Sandy Newton says:

    A riddle! I’m wondering if it says: “Mainland writer using northern term” ?

    • suzannepower says:

      Sandy, I think you may have solved it! There appear to be two tall letters and ‘th’ would fit. The editors of the DNE would sometimes cross their ‘t’s and dot their ‘i’s much farther along in the word. This is something we have to watch. The cross above the last part of the word definitely looks like a cross of a ‘t’. Thanks so much. We’ll be posting another file this week.

  4. jritcey says:

    how about — historical

    • suzannepower says:

      Thanks for your input! I think it’s ‘Northern’ as Sandy Newton has suggested. Dr. Kirwin produces ‘k’s and ‘h’s that looked pretty much identical and rarely crosses ‘t’s and dots ‘i’s in the place they occur in the word. I’m going to run it by a couple of other folks for confirmation and we’ll be posting at least another query later this week!

  5. JGParsons says:

    My take on this is “Sealing Station. Mainland writer using Hawken’s Team. Withdraw?” as in: “there’s a writer from the mainland already using the dog-team we had planned to use. Do we still continue with our plan to withdraw from this station?”

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