SignWriting List
January 15, 2020

Hello Mark and Adam -
Thank you for this interesting discussion about the name "SignPuddle". Adam's answer is poetic and accurate. The idea behind it, as Adam said, is that as more and more signs are written on the web, one visitor and one sign at a time, the databases of written signs from different sign languages grows, becoming small pools or puddles, and then, becoming larger like an ocean. The SignPuddle database is quite large now, with extensive writing in sign languages, since 2004.

That is the poetic answer ;-)

The practical answer is that back in 2004, I met software developer Steve Slevinski, in a Deaf chat room online. They were playing blackjack cards written in SignWriting with a cool program that Steve had developed. So of course I introduced myself and asked Steve if he would be interested in developing more software for SignWriting. I found out that Steve had started his own organization called PUDL. He told me that it stood for "Pittsburgh United For Deaf Literacy". So the software that was called "PUDL" (pronounced "P-U-D-D-L-E") became SignPuddle.

Steve also has other software, such as "SignMaker" and "SignText". The "SignPuddle" name has been used now for 16 years. People remember the name because it is so unusual, a little like the name "Google" which is an unusual name too!

Steve - want to add to the story behind the name "SignPuddle"?

Val ;-)


On Wed, Jan 15, 2020 at 1:16 PM Adam Frost <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hello Mark,

Welcome to the SignWriting List! Thank you for your questions. I will answer your questions about where the name “SignPuddle” came from first. Then the next email I will answer your question about cursive writing. 

I’m sure that Valerie and Stephen Slevinski can go into more detail about the reasoning behind the name “SignPuddle”, but I can tell you what it implies for me.

Imagine a field with hundreds of rain puddles. Each of these puddles are filled with droplets, and each droplet contains a sign used in specific sign language. The result is each puddle is a collection of signs for a given sign language.


On Jan 15, 2020, at 12:17 PM, Tuệ Đinh Cao <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Dear Ms Val and Mr Adam,

Why is the platform called “SignPuddle” instead of any other names? And whether there are materials to study the cursive style of Signwriting?

Best regards,

Mark Dinh



Valerie Sutton SignWriting List moderator [log in to unmask]

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