ALLIGATOR Palm Facing and Direction

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Wed Dec 3 05:41:07 UTC 2008

SignWriting List
December 2, 2008

Hello Andre!
Thank you for this message....

We are all so fortunate to have conversations like this...;-)

Years ago, in the 1980's, when I was working with the Deaf group that  
wrote the SignWriter Newspaper, we created some "writing rules" or  
"SignSpelling Rules" to help us...and over time, those writing  
guidelines were something that we just "assumed" or "took for  
granted"...we assumed them...they felt so natural to us...but these  
rules were never properly written down so new writers could learn them  
well...that is my fault. They should have been an active part of the  
Lessons in SignWriting Textbook from the beginning, and they will be  
in any future publications.

So a few years ago I finally described two of these SignSpelling rules  
on the web, and I realize that may have seemed like something "new" to  
some, but for me and the older writers, it was actually just recording  
the way we were writing long ago...

And when I say the word "rule"...I do not mean to force anyone to do  
anything...I am just trying to explain the way the system was designed  
early on...

So I think, Andre, you might enjoy learning about these two  
SignSpelling Rules. You can read them on the web:

SignSpelling Rule 1: Write the Position of Contact

SignSpelling Rule 2: Every Sign Has A Center


Now I will answer your questions below, based on these two rules, that  
have influenced our writing since the 1980's...

Andre wrote:
  I am trying to understand between a standard rule and fingers in a  
real life.

Val answers:
Do we have a "standard" rule? Where did you get that name? There is no  
"standard" rule that I know of...

I think the way the "fingers look in real life" is a much better  
idea... and writing the "Position of Contact" is probably what you  
mean when you say that...

Please see attached diagram...I have written notes near your  
writing...your "Step 2s" are well written:

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