So, I’m transcribing bits of documents I photographed at the Staffordshire Record Office and the William Salt Library in Stafford last September. Most of the docs are older than the ones I usually deal with, which means I have to struggle a bit to read the handwriting. Today’s post is a celebration of the idiocy of features of hands and scripts, and a puzzle for you, dear reader (dear spambot? dear me?):
What is the second word in the phrase in the image above?
Tip: the partly deleted phrase reads “Stafford | [something] | Stalbroke”
Well, whaddayouknow, it most certainly does not read something like “ajan~” or “azan~” (or even “again”). In fact it says “Man~” for ‘Manor’. So the first letter is a capital M – with a tail (quite common), but with a very curved first stroke which inhibits ready comprehension (by me, anyway).
Argh. Paleaography. Argh.