sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed Dec 10 05:41:26 UTC 2008
Hi Stuart -
You misunderstood me completely...I never thought that YOU thought it
would fail at all...that never crossed my mind...You are a wonderful
friend and have used SignWriting for years, so you really
misunderstood me, Stuart...in fact I think your handwriting was really
good in the handwriting course we had online before...so that was the
last thing I meant!
If you look at my message below, I said that according to Stuart we
are told (and i meant that OTHERS told us) that we will fail...
I got the impression that was what you were saying in your previous
email to me...I felt like you were scolding me for not doing
more...like somehow I wasn't working hard enough to give you the right
materials...I am sorry if I have let you down in some way...
So please forgive me if I said anything to hurt you and that was not
what I meant at all...
We all are working as hard as we can and we cannot do more than
that...and yes, I too am looking forward to Stefan's new book, and I
hope more people will write books on SignWriting, so that it is not
all up to me...I am pretty limited at times...Maybe you can write some
books teaching SignWriting, Stuart? I would love that and they are
needed...the more the better...
I appreciate everyone's friendship and especially yours...thank you,
Stuart, for hanging in there all these years, even with all the
controversy and criticism that surrounds SignWriting sometimes...
And my statement actually was based on my own experiences...I receive
criticism all the time, in private emails from people, stating that
"no one could write this by hand", so it certainly is not you who said
that...it has been others over many years...I remember a whole group
on the SLLING list said that years ago, so this is not a new thing at
On Dec 9, 2008, at 8:30 PM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
> Well, Valerie, I was rather dismayed by your characterization of my
> comment as "SignWriting will fail ..." That is a misinterpretation
> of my position. I never said that SignWriting cannot be written by
> hand. Nor did I say that SignWriting would fail because of it.
> Further, for the people that I have worked with, they have not had
> the motivation to write by hand. They wanted simpler forms that
> could be written more quickly. I was merely sharing my experience.
> If others have had a better experience, I am glad for them. That
> doesn't mean that my experience or position should be put down in
> such a derogatory manner. Forgive my strong words, but it was very
> hard to read your email.
> My point is simply that one way that we can make it easier for
> people to adopt SignWriting is to have that handwriting instruction
> ready in the training. How many of us learned to write a spoken
> language by trying to copy the way it is printed in a book? No, our
> teachers gave us instruction on how to form handwritten letters
> while at the same time we learned how to read the printed form. That
> was all I was trying to say. That is why I am glad that Stefan is
> working on a Handwriting book. That is a needed resource.
> On Dec 9, 2008, at 15:57 , Valerie Sutton wrote:
>> 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 education...
>> 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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