Mary Has Terrible Handwriting: Round 2

Okay most of you know the drill probably. Mary has terrible handwriting, and I need your help to make sense of it. This time I have a whopping 19 that need translating.

Here is the link to the online version of the diary. I’ve added both page numbers that match the pages on the link, and also the dates which you’ll find useful if you decide to download a PDF of the diary. Did you know you could download a PDF of the digital materials? Well you can!

I made the highlights a little more subtle (maybe a little too subtle?) and the pictures a little smaller. But! You can open each picture for a bigger view.

1) Page 9/ January 9 : Solved!

Z.C.M.I. is what I am FAIRLY certain what that says. What that is, I have no idea. Do you?

Page 9 Jan 9

Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution

Lucy Ruth figured this one out pretty quick. She had guessed it was a department store from the context clues and then with some search wizardry found it. I say “wizardry” to hide the fact that I probably spent ten seconds searching and gave up.

(Anna guessed it right too using insider knowledge, but Lucy was quicker on the draw)

2) Page 36/ Feb 5 : Solved!

That Y’s loop in the “yet” is causing issues but the name is a little squished together too.

Page 36 Feb 5

Liz figured out one from round one that made me go cross eyed too, and she says (and I can see it now) that this one is “Sperry’s”

3) Page 60/ May 29 : Solved?

It LOOKS like “lab” (doggy!) or “lal”, which isn’t a thing. But that trail on the final letter is confounding me. She’s never done that. A random outlier, or odd abbreviation sign?

Page 60 May 29

Elizabeth thinks she might have been writing “latch”. Because it’s a hutch or the like and that would probably impress Mary. It doesn’t explain why it’s written like that though, but I’m not sure there IS an explanation

Changing my mind. Initially one guess I had is that she gave up on spelling “Labrador”, and Matt came up with that idea independently. And comparing other “b”s in the middle of a word, it matches pretty close. Going with that now.

But then again Kevin guessed that could be where she was attacked, and Julie thinks she fell under her blanket fort.

4) Page 85/ March 24: Solved!

Here’s a tricky one. It’s both illegible AND split up! It doesn’t help that often when moving to the next line Mary will forget her place and reuse letters or put an entire word twice.

Page 85 March 24 A

Spliced together the full name if that helps any. The colored box is blocking a loop that’s part of the line above.

Page 85 March 24 B

I figured out this one all by myself looking at the stitched name. Going with “Pugmier”.

5) Page 111/ April 19 : I give up.

Another where it’s pretty legible, just nonsensical. What is a box of par?

Page 111 April 19

It’s clearly “par”. I was hoping someone would tell me what this MEANS but you have all failed me. I’m so disappointed in you. Yes you, personally.

6) Page 153/ May 31 : Solved!

Looks like “ous”. Could be “our”? Taking a scenic tour to their final resting place? Charming.

Page 153 May 31

Elizabeth says it’s “our”. Which makes sense but that is no “r” by any measure. Oh well “our” it will be.

7) Page 158/ June 5 : Solved?

“Indest” school. What is that.

Page 158 June 5

I few people have suggested she’s shortening “Industry” (and spelling it Indestry). Without any other ideas I’ll go with that.

8) Page 180/ June 26 : Solved!

The what brothers? Bogritron? That sounds like a robot family, but that can’t be because they wouldn’t have been killed in action if they were robots.

Page 180 June 26

Liz did the research and found out it’s Borgstrom. They don’t have a movie, but they do have a Wikipedia entry! And yet, still, “Borgstrom”? They’re totally robots.

9) Page 187/ July 2 : Solved!

Seems to be “lycons” which I’m guessing could be a brand. Didn’t turn up in my searches though. Except for the werewolves in Underworld.

Page 187 July 2

A couple people figured it must be a brand but couldn’t find it either. But nobody suggested it’s anything besides “lycons” so it’ll stay a mystery, but a mystery that doesn’t need solving.

10) Page 206/ July 21 : Solved?

She’s talking about berries here. “Rasp.” is obviously “raspberry” but I don’t know what a cot berry could be.

Page 206 July 21

Leona had a great guess that it could be apricots. She had mentioned them again the next day in full spelling so I think she’s right.

11) Page 225/ August 9 : Solved!

Primary doo? Is that a #1 #2? Ha ha get it? Cuz…well anyway.

Page 225 August 9

I think it was Julie that said it was “too”, which I suspected as well. I checked some other of her “t”s and tho’ it’s rare she does write them like that on occasion.

12) Page 234/ August 18 : Solved!

GET A GRIP MAN. Or. Whatever that says.

Page 234 August 18

Linda used logic to decide a “grip” must be a bag, and looking up the variant definitions of grip she’s right!

13) Page 237/ August 21 : Didn’t actually need solving!

This isn’t so much a thing that needs transcribing as me giving Mary and America’s late 1940’s culture a public shaming.

Page 237 August 21

14) Page 249/ September 2 : Solved!

PROBABLY “pickling”? But it doesn’t fit. “Picting” does but I don’t think that is a thing, is it? Unless you’re a nerd that tries to find the science in 80’s science fiction novels.

Page 249 September 2

Liz seconding my pickling theory so I’m going with that.

15) Page 252/ September 5 : Solved!

I almost don’t want to know the truth, because it looks like “Woofind” to me and if it’s anything else I’ll be disappointed.

Page 252 September 5

Liz says that Woofinder is a real name. Can we trust her? I say we trust her.

16) Page 292/ October 15 : Solved

It’s aaaaalmost outfit, but she’s spelling it…”outifitt”. Or something.

Page 292 October 15

Decided this is just “outfit” with very poor handwriting.

17) Page 294/ October 17 : Solved?

This is mostly a call out to any Utahn’s that follow me and know the geography. Is Millin’s Peaks a mountain? Or…oh maybe it could be a place of unspeakable evil or a bro restaurant. (Which I mean really is the same thing, isn’t it?)

Page 294 October 17

Nobody could drum up info on “Millin’s Peaks, so I’ll leave it as “Millin’s Peaks” and if someone wants to figure out where that is THEY can do the intense research.

18) Page 314/ November 6 : :Solved!

Heating affair? Heating offair? I understand neither of those.

Page 314 November 6

Julie thinks it’s “affair” and I do too.

19) Page 317/ November 9 : Solved?

She’s used “couns” for “counselor”. Could this be a variation?

Page 317 November 9

I’m gonna go with “counselor” because it’s the only thing that makes sense.

And that’s all, folks! Reply in Twitter to guess at your convenience or, for better archival purposes (or if you don’t have Twitter) reply in the comments any guesses you have. Your help is legitimately appreciated! (And I know you enjoy the distraction from the daily grind. Just tell your boss you’re donating your time to an educational institution if you’re caught.)


2 thoughts on “Mary Has Terrible Handwriting: Round 2

  1. Amy says:

    Super duper reaching here… but in regards to the “box of par,” what if it was an abbreviation for “parfum,” aka perfume? I’m trying to think of logical gifts one would give to a 56 year old lady in a rural area in 1948.

    • That’s not actually too far of a stretch for Mary! Good way to think out of the box….of par? But it would be hard to guess if she really had been making an abbreviation of a misspelled word (which she WOULD do) so I might have to leave it a mystery, at least officially.

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