[sw-l] IMWA version 1.0 completed...

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Aug 22 20:53:24 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
August 22, 2004

Bill Reese wrote:
> If we would take the informational items that may be included in a 
> definition, are all the items fully supported in just signing alone or 
> will there be, because writing is different than signing, marks that 
> are used just for the dictionary?
>  For instance, italics are used in dictionaries to denote different 
> subjects or categories.  Let's say we have a word elevator, and it's 
> labeled U.S., while the synonymous lift, is labeled Brit.  Notice that 
> in my use of the italics in the preceeding sentence, it helped to 
> define the subjects and their "Locality Label" category.  Would the 
> use of italics in this manner be satisfied with the sign for topic, 
> and topic would be used that way in the definition, or is there an 
> actual way to make Signwriting italic?  Of course, that begs the 
> question;  "How do other character-based writing systems approach this 
> idea?"

Hello Everyone, and Bill!
Thanks for this message. And I am glad you survived the hurricane, 
which just missed you in Tampa, Florida!

The IMWA are just symbols. Like the Roman Alphabet is just a group of 
symbols. Just as the Roman Alphabet can be italicized, SignWriting 
symbols can be italicized too in TrueType fonts....italicized 
automatically...I can show you an example later with our Fingerspelling 
True Type fonts.....You can write the SignWriting symbols in Bold, 
Italics, Underlined, Outlined etc...just by the mere fact that it is 

So that is not the point of the IMWA...it is not a typeface, or a type 
style, or a method of inputting the symbols. It is the actual symbols 
themselves...symbols that never existed before for hundreds of 
handshapes that are rarely used in foreign signed languages...and all 
of those can be italicized later, if you wish, as soon as the TrueType 
fonts are created for those symbols...

Regarding how dictionaries are designed...Each dictionary publisher or 
editor has to make their choices as to how to show the details you 
mention...but once again, from my perspective, I am not the dictionary 
editor...I just created the symbols and from there each language needs 
to hone the IMWA down to the specific symbols they need to write their 
specific language...

It is true that when I create a SignBank, then I am taking on the hat 
of a dictionary editor...but that is a future job. Right now I just 
completed a marathon race, called IMWA 1.0, with 25,125 GIFs, and that 
is enough for today - ha!

By the way, Bill...a publisher in South Korea just ordered a copy of 
your SignWriting Web Sites 2002 CD Rom for their library in Soeul, 
South Korea! I will send you the particulars later, for your 
records...Thank you for that wonderful product!

Val ;-)
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