Hi Val, Adam, Charles, Bill ... friends of the sw-list,


It is interesting to learn that there must be something about these thumb-hand-hand shapes that seems to allow people to see it from different point of views.


Obviously Adam and Val see the hand in a way that Charles and me cannot understand. How hard I try I cannot follow your explanations.


Nevertheless I would  love to understand the way you look at it.

One way may be to offer a symbol next to the foto –


I prepared such a graphic.


In order to show the hand orientation in your writing Bill – which is perfect from my point of view (showing the   r i g h t   three fingers claw hand to the left – as if holding a red nose of the clown)

I took this foto.



I think it is not that much of importance for this discussion how far the hand is pointing to the right  (20°  or 45° -- the r i g h t  hand  would show the thumb on the right side -- ;-)))


In this case Valerie there is no extra rule necessary – what do you think?


Stefan ;-)









Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:SW-[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Charles Butler
Gesendet: Dienstag, 13. September 2011 03:03
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: Clown hand orientation.


I'd put the hand 90 degrees with the 2nd and third fingers on opposite sides of the nose. It's not a pinch, it's holding a red clown nose. 



--- On Mon, 9/12/11, Bill Reese <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Bill Reese <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: AW: NEW: Clown correction
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, September 12, 2011, 6:22 PM

So if I should write it like this:

it would be wrong one way and right another?  Looks like I would be saying "peuw" rather than "clown" anyways.  lol


On 9/12/2011 4:45 PM, Valerie Sutton wrote:

SignWriting List

September 12, 2011


Hi Charles -

Thanks for this message!


The word intuitive is used in different ways - no one says the thumbs match - of course they don't!


But it is intuitive for us in other ways - we like placing the right hand on the right side of the body, because for us, it goes back to the old stick figure - before we used to write the arm lines attached to these hand symbols and they still do in Denmark and sometimes in schools, and since the right arm is on the right side of the body, it feels best to me anyway, to have the right hand on the right side of the body...but of course the details of the thumbs are not perfect - you are absolutely right - in the long run though, people do read stick figures and when you take the stick figure away and leave just the hands, you have the hands on the right side of the face - so we were never saying that the photo and the symbol match one hundred percent - they never have since the beginning of the system - but when we write, there is an intuitive feeling to the writing system anyway - at least that is what others tell me - I respect your concern and please go right ahead and write as you wish - we are just documenting what the symbols represent to us -