Hi Rachel, Valerie, Charles...


thank you for your comments.

I do not know. I am afraid my English is not good enough to explain what our design team is trying to find out.


Let me try again ... smile.


Personally – as someone who is working with SignWriting for more than a decade now – I do not miss anything and I feel so accustomed to the font as it is that I feel pretty astonished if anybody shows up with the idea to   “i m p r o v e”   the design of the symbols in order to make them look more “modern” or more “nice” or easier to accept or ... or ... or...


Valerie you know about the discussion with another project years ago - ... I do not want to think of that. ... ;-)


Now there is another group of design students. They try to “brush up” the symbols. From time to time I try to explain to them that by all means we should not change anything which would cause problems if it comes to misinterpretations –


...within this context Valerie explained again the idea behind the root of a given hand shape ...


Now we happened to find an interesting phenomenon.


Human fingers are as they are – smile – No way to bent your fingers in a smooth curve because of the bones of a given lenght.


I understand perfectly, that we can discuss that different variations of a curved hand (flat hand, more open  C – Hand, more closed C-Hand, E – Hand , O- Hand, S-Hand) are possible and can be written so that the reader should get an idea of the scribes intention.


That is not my point.


What I am interested in is to understand why we find different designs for extremely bent fingers depending on the fact how many fingers are involved. We do write these bent fingers as angular/hooked/bent handshape, if we are talking about one, two or three fingers but write half circle curves if there are more fingers involveld.


[log in to unmask]">





Is this just by accident?  Is this a matter of how to get a clear design in small fonts...? Is it a relict of the DOS-software with limitations if it comes to smooth lines,,?



If it does not matter it would be no problem to just write half-circle curves in order to indicate that we are talking about the extremly bent fingers. (Have a look at the “claw – hand”)


If it is my feeling that the hooked  index finger is better represented with angular/hooked/bent handshape –


If we would design this finger with a half circle at the end of the finger it feels to me kind of “not correct”


 I was told that I would probably be able to overcome my irritation and would be able to become familiar with this  “new” presentation as “half circle curve” .... if I see this writing again and again...


So from my point of view it makes sense just as Charles pointed out "beautiful" artwork must make sure that you don't lose articulation.” In order to find out that this should not happen I try to invite all of you to think about this -...


Thank you very much for your attention.








Von: SignWriting List: Read and Write Sign Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Rachel Channon
Gesendet: Freitag, 15. Februar 2013 20:31
An: [log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: discussion: design of bent fingers


Two examples:

ASL fingerspelled C is normally a curved handshape, E is an angular/hooked/bent handshape.  Under some circumstances, the normally curved C handshape might become more angular (perhaps when fingerspelling E-C-E fast)  or the E handshape might relax into a more curved handshape (perhaps L-E-O might produce this).  ((I’m inventing these examples just to make the point here – they may be wrong). 

I would think that you might want to continue writing the C with a more curved handshape and the E with a more angular representation even if they looked identical on the surface. 

Is this what you mean, Stefan?


Best, Rachel


Rachel Channon

Sign Language Investigations, LLC