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autopen.gif
An Autopen Machine

I have to admit even I get confused with the abrevations and whatnot.....I use the abrevations because I'm too lazy to do otherwise....the autograph lingo and things you must know

TTM- An abrevation for "Through the Mail"
 
Preprinted Picture (a.k.a. PP) This is a copy of a picture that was signed. They are usually mailed out by stars that are either too busy to sign TTM or Think that we will sell them. Companies like Studio Fan Mail are paid by celebritites to mail these PP's out. You have a better chance of avoiding getting one if you mail your own picture to the home address of the celebrity. Or ask for yor picture to be personalized. If it's personalized you can be 99% sure it's authentic. You can test for a preprint by getting a wet rag and wiping it over a small portion of the signature. If it's authentic it will be done in Sharpie and will smudge. Be careful you dont ruin your picture. It's better to know your autograph is real and a tad distorted than thinking it's not.
 
Autopen- This is a machine used by celebrities that is programmed to sign their signature. It's for the bigger names that dont have the time or the energy to do sign TTM. An autopen looks exactly like a real signature. You can easily tell by comparing your signauture with another online. If the loops and whatnot are exact more than likely you have a fake. You should try to mail 2 of something to a suspicious celeb and see if the signatures look exact. Also, autopens can only be used on small paper items for instance a baeball card. If you mail say a Baseball to someone it is impossible for them to auotpen it.  
 
Secretarial- Though not that common these are signatures that are done by an assistant to the celebrity. In other words a forgery. Supposedly, Mickey Mantle had the ball boy sign baseballs for him instead of doing it himself. This would be considered a Secreteral.
 
RTS- Return to Sender...When your item is returned for whatever reason unsigned.
 
Let me know if you need anything else defined.