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208   Life and Letters' of Francis Galton

damaged (c) = Galton's d. A short quantity over a letter (e) denotes a questionable pattern = Galton's x. A single dot (sign of fluxion), as m, denotes the scar of a cut = Galton's t; two dots (second fluxion or "Umlaut"), as e, denotes a smashed finger = Galton's *. Thus we replace these four subscripts by symbols already familiar to the printer. We then propose to adopt the Greek alphabet to represent arches, small italic letters to represent loops, and capitals to represent whorls. It is thus at once feasible to disregard all individual letters and write down the common Arch-Loop-Whorl formula by regarding alphabets only. The individual subspecies are represented by the individual letters. But we soon find that if we are to have only as many subspecies as Galton deals with, we shall need more letters than exist in any of the three alphabets ! We are thus driven back to suffixes, but here we find it easier to write numerical powers than to use subscript letters. Further, as we only want 10 characteristics, the 10 numerals will suffice. They are as follows

0 =Galton's o, or the core of the whorl has a detached ring.

1= Galton's b, or the end of a single spiral or the two ends of a double spiral are blunted.

2 = Galton's q, or the core of the spiral is made of ridges twisted up into a point.

3 = Galton's g, or the core of the whorl is very large.

4 = Galton's k, or the body of the loop or whorl is curved like a hook, or some of the inner ridges are hooked.

5 = Galton's v, or there is an invasion of ridges from the side of loop or whorl. 6 = Galton's y, or the core of a loop or whorl, or even sometimes of an arch,

has an eye shaped like a pear or racquet.

7 = Galton's c, or the upper part or innermost core of the loop is shaped like

a staple detached from the enveloping ridge.

8 = Galton's f, or the innermost core of the loop forks like a tuning fork; it

may afterwards reunite, enclosing a space like the eye of a needle (or like

a broken eye).

9 = Galton's i, or the innermost core of the loop is a rod whose head is separate from the enveloping ridge. Multiple rods may also be included under 9.

It will be seen that the first four numerals (0, 1, 2, 3) apply only to whorls; the last three (7, 8, 9) only to loops; the remaining three (4, 5, 6) to any species of print. A little practice soon causes one to remember the significance of these numerals as easily as Galton's letters. Any combination of these numerals may appear as a power. Thus k54 we shall see denotes a radial loop with some resemblance to an arch, with an invasion of ridges from the side, and one or more hooked ridges; again A40 denotes a simple right-handed screw radial whorl with a completed circle and a ridge hooked round. Galton would represent this as w(r, ko), where w denotes the whorl, r that it is radial, and ko that there is a coil of ridges enclosed in a complete or nearly complete ring. So much for the power suffixes.


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