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I can't recall the name of the standard writing stroke in the English script. Apologies in advance if this is off topic.

This stroke is the single vertical stroke fundamental to many letters. A single stroke is the basis for the letter i, a lengthened one above is the basis for l, lengthened below is the basis for j. Likewise, connecting two at the top is basis for n, two at the bottom basis for u, and the bases for m and w follow by connecting three.

Does anyone know the actual term for this basis stroke?

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Perhaps (unlike some languages) writing strokes for English do not have individual names? – GEdgar Sep 5 '11 at 0:52
There is no single standard name for it because there are several different cursive handwriting methods. – z7sg Ѫ Sep 5 '11 at 1:13

I never heard it called anything other than a downstroke.

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I believe stem is the word you are looking for.

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But that seems more for typography specifically, rather than handwriting – simchona Sep 5 '11 at 0:38

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