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SignWriting List
September 25, 2011

Hello SignWriting List members -

You have all been on my mind - I hope you all are doing well ....

Lately I have been focusing more on family issues, and spending less time on the SignWriting List, and I have missed our discussions here on the List.

Recently we started discussing ways of writing again, and that is important and I want to continue those discussions. My family issues are still taking much of my time however. My nephew Andrew just arrived from North Carolina to see his grandparents, which is wonderful, and we are having a small family reunion this week. Both my twin nephews, Michael and Andrew, work with me, copying old SignWriting documents into SignPuddle, sign by sign, and thanks to Ingvild Roald from Norway, they have more work now. I am also teaching my nephews how to transcribe sign language videos into SignWriting and we are enjoying that process too...You can see some of our new work on that project here:

Video Transcription of ASL Video by James Womack
http://www.signbank.org/SignPuddle1.5/canvas.php?ui=1&sgn=5&sid=73

I am sure you can find errors there, since we are new to video transcription. For example, I am not sure the English gloss of the ASL is even correct...we need to ask a skilled ASL signer to tell us if we did the gloss correctly, and some of the writing still needs to be edited, but nonetheless, it is fun to start writing the video by James Womack... If any of you want to correct our work, please tell us here on the List - we can use your feedback -

I am finishing up the last of five book orders - I have shipped four of the orders so far - thank you for your orders...

Mainly I just want to say that I have not forgotten our discussions on palm facing. I think it is exciting to realize how much SignWriting is used and I want to celebrate all our writing styles with joy and interest. I have been thinking about it and I think that it would be most constructive, for our future discussion, to change the venue a little and I bet we will communicate much better...I would like to suggest that first, we do not try to change each other's way of writing, but instead enjoy sharing with each other how we would write different signs....We could take a group of five signs, let's say, and then we can write them and explain the process we went through, when we wrote them, and show the end result of the written sign. I think we will find that no writing style is perfect...they all are not 100 per cent the way the signs really look in real life, and that each writing style has its pros and cons...and it is up to the writer what works best for them -

So I would like to suggest, that in about a month or so, that we start this new thread, perhaps called SignWriting Writing Styles or something like that, and then the sharing can begin - we will all benefit, and so will future generations - they will look at our chart with different ways to write each sign, and see how a writing system evolves around the world naturally, and be amazed...for it is truly amazing the thousands (yes - thousands) of documents we have, written in several writing styles - but still readable by SignWriting readers around the world...

So again, please know, this will happen when my personal life becomes less complicated and time allows -

Meanwhile, also behind the scenes, I am also working with Steve Slevinski, Michael Everson, Adam Frost and Nancy Romero on a variety of SignWriting projects, including software development, TrueType development, finishing Chapter 12 of the SignWriting Hand Symbols Manual and publishing the Gospel According to Matthew, the complete Book of Romans and several other Bible sections in ASL. I am also reading Stuart Thiessen's MA thesis on SignWriting (THANK YOU Stuart!), and trying to improve our web sites, which are quite out of date. The hardest problem I have right now is that Google changed the way they search, and I never updated our web sites to match their new way of searching, so at the moment the Search Button doesn't work on our web sites - so you can see these little problems take a little effort, but they will be fixed...

I hope all of you will start posting your accomplishments with SignWriting on the SignWriting List...it is a help to the world because then it is archived for history in our SignWriting List Archives....and a help for my morale and I am sure others too.

For example, I understand that Ingvild Roald is presenting in Norway? and that Stefan is teaching a SignWriting workshop and has a new web site related to SignWriting? And Erika Hoffman's peer-reviewed journal article is published? Is that right, Erika? Please tell us about these events - and anyone else too - we are always interested -

Thanks for reading my report from my desk this morning - I am now going upstairs to make my family breakfast on a Sunday morning!

Happy Sunday everyone!


Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
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