SignWriting List
September 29, 2011

Hello Stefan -
Thanks for this message - You have been on my mind lately...perhaps you knew that? smile...

See my answer below your message...


On Sep 29, 2011, at 1:43 PM, Stefan Wöhrmann wrote:

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Hi Valerie,
looking at old hand shape designs I noticed that there have been made some changes in the actual version. I prefer very much the “original” as printed in your “Lessons in SignWriting” page 44 – showing thumb and fingers at opposite directions if the fingers are bent at the Middle Joint – as it can be seen in the right symbol looking at the back of the hand.


Yes...The change you notice above has been in SignPuddle since 2008....starting with the ISWA it has been 3 years now, that the symbols have been like this in SignPuddle...below is a screen capture from the ISWA 2010... The ISWA 2008 and 2010 are the same in this regard... (continued below)... these are the "in-directed palm facings" of the 10 palm facings... I am working on creating charts but I am not ready yet...

But in the old SignWriter DOS program, it is as you say above, like you prefer it - a mixture - some are in-directed and some are out-directed - and the page you bring up in the Lessons in SignWriting Textbook, is I believe on page 54, not page 44...I have attached a screen capture of page 54 below, with my comment next to it - This is the very problem - Writers, when they write by hand, write all 10 palm facings - I have seen it time and time again here - but our software...SignWriter for the Apple //e and //c and SignWriter DOS back in the mid-1980's...was a very small program with very little memory...and we could not have so many symbols because there was not enough we had to choose only 6 palm facings from the 10 palm facings - and I chose inconsistently and regret it to this day (smile) in time I hope to clean up my old textbook

Meanwhile, of course go ahead and use any of the 10 palm facings just as our writers do - in your TrueType fonts and in SignWriter DOS you have them already constructed the way you like them I assume - but they will have to be constructed in SignPuddle the way you like them - I am sorry about that - but they can be constructed fairly easily -

Software is not perfect and nor am I, obviously! (grin ;-)

Since we are working with 6 palm facings in computers, I tried to at least be consistent in the ISWA 2008 and ISWA 2010 -

Please see the attached diagram below from the old Lessons in SignWriting Textbook which was written between 1995 and 2002...

And please know I am happy with however you choose to write - it is all a great blessing for the world - I love your writing and look at it everyday with admiration - Val ;-)