Adam's Suggested Handshape is Cursive

Sandy Fleming sandy at SCOTSTEXT.ORG
Tue Dec 30 23:14:26 UTC 2008

Hi Val and All!

Yes, the term "italic" is used to refer to the neat, not always cursive
handwriting style as well as a sloped variant of a font.

Italic and cursive handwriting are done with two different types of pen.
Cursive is done with a pen nib that comes to a sharp point and line
thickness is controlled by applying pressure to the pen. Italic
handwriting is done with an italic pen, which has a flat-ended nib and
line thickness varies according to the direction of the stroke. Of
course the subtleties of line thickness is lost with ball-point pen!

I was reading over some of the "shorthand" I did a few days ago and I
must say I get a bit stuck with it here and there. It's not because the
symbols aren't clear, it's because some signs really need hand
orientation to be written in order to distinguish them from other signs.

For example, I was puzzling over a sign I'd written which seemed to be
"get on with it", whereas after a while I realised that I'd meant
"story". These are the same sign except that the hands are in the wall
plane for "get on with it" but in the floor plane with "story". The fact
that I hadn't bothered to write the palm fill was therefore a problem.

I think that this means that this sort of writing is, to some extent,
actually a shorthand, because you can't really read some signs in
isolation: you need context. So for fast, readable writing I think we do
need to be able to write the hand orientations (palm fills) clearly,
it's just a question of how to make them quick to write.

I think I'll perhaps try going back to using horseshoe writing for the
handshapes but stay with the other "shorthand" features for other things
and see how that goes.



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