# QUESTION: How to write the M Handshape in 1-Handed Fingerspelling

Ronald Dettloff signpreach at SBCGLOBAL.NET
Thu Dec 2 05:30:34 UTC 2010

Thanks for setting up Ryan Ruggero's password, etc., but I has not been allowed
editing privileges. He needs that please.

R. H.  Dettloff

________________________________
From: Valerie Sutton <sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG>
To: SW-L at LISTSERV.VALENCIACC.EDU
Sent: Wed, December 1, 2010 6:45:24 PM
Subject: Re: QUESTION: How to write the M Handshape in 1-Handed Fingerspelling

SignWriting List
December 1, 2010

VAL's ANSWER: Look at these two handshapes below. The first one has no bend in
the kunckle joints. The second bends in the kunckle joints. Most people perform
the letter M bending at the kunckle joints, so I would choose the second with
the knuckle bend on the right:

Regarding the issues of finger direction in the second handshape... When
performing an M, the back of the hand is seen from the TOP VIEW....see diagram
below...

When you have a white space at the knuckle joint, you are looking overhead. The
palm of the hand is parallel to the floor. From the Top View, with the hand
projecting forward, the fingers pointing down actually disappear completely from
view. So actually it would NOT be more natural to see the fingers below the
square for the fist, when viewing the hand from overhead...The fingers disappear
from view when directed down from the Top View....maybe a tiny tip of the
fingers show, as they do in Adam's photo, but not enough to write them under the
palm...

So how do we write this? We must write the fingers or the symbol cannot be read.

See diagram below. The first symbol on the left is used when the hand is
projecting straight forward. Although the fingers are really hidden behind the
hand, the three lines at the top of the symbol show they are bending forward
from overhead....The middle symbol shows the hand projecting towards the front
corner on a diagonal. The third symbol shows the hand projecting to the side
wall, but you are seeing the hand from overhead.

All of them have the fingers projecting down. It is a symbol we memorize, and is
quite well read and pretty standard around the world... smile... Val ;-)
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