Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Tue Dec 9 21:57:18 UTC 2008

SignWriting List
December 9, 2008

On Dec 9, 2008, at 1:06 PM, Adam Frost wrote:
> I think that this discussion has been very interesting. Mainly  
> because my sister and brother-in-law have been using SignWriting  
> more and more. In fact, my brother-in-law just showed me a hand  
> written collage of writings in which he is practicing. He had called  
> me on the video phone to see if he was writing signs correctly. He  
> also showed me a hand written note from my sister to him. They are  
> both at the stage in learning where they look up the words in the  
> dictionary, which is quite normal for beginning. As I was writing  
> this, my brother-in-law called me back to ask me how to write a sign  
> that was not in the dictionary. He had some difficulty, but he will  
> get the hang of it. I just think it is interesting he is mostly  
> writing by hand, which is what we have been talking about.

This is wonderful, Adam! Your family members and friends are welcome  
to join the SignWriting List...and I created a Mexican Literature  
Puddle for them too...

But I want to share with you a funny irony...

SignWriting will be 35 years old in 2009.

In the first decade of SignWriting, from 1974-1984, there was ONLY  
writing by hand. There was nothing else. We developed the Shorthand in  
1981-1984 too, and people said to me that SignWriting would still fail  
because "it can never be written by machine"...

Then, in the second and third decades, we worked and focused on  
developing "machines to write SignWriting", and now we have  
accomplished that in different ways, to such an extent, that new  
students oftentimes learn on computers without learning to write by  
hand first. Now, according to Stuart, we are told that SignWriting  
will fail because "it cannot be written by hand?"...smile... or..."it  
cannot be written by hand fast enough"...

and all those predictions of failure have ALWAYS been  
false...SignWriting is still here, 35 years later, and we have BOTH  
writing by machine and writing by hand...it is a matter of choice and  

Your brother-in-law is learning SignWriting by writing by hand, and  
that is the way the writing system started...

Val ;-)


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