James Kegl's message about the Toolbox Key in SWDOS....

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Sun Dec 7 05:40:04 UTC 2003

SignWriting List
December 6, 2003

So to continue the story...as you all know, SignWriting is a large
writing system and I am always chasing after it...never ahead of it.
There are always new developments somewhere around the world and
although we have a lot of documents on the web, there are still other
documents needed...

James and his crew in Nicaragua needed a way to write "chomping" of the
teeth etc., and although I had a way to write this...at least one way,
anyway (smile)...there was no way that James could know what I was
writing, because I had never included this in any of our
textbooks...you all know how many books I have going partially all the
time...I am afraid there will always be something new that will need to
be documented...

Anyway...the comical part of the story is that James used a symbol from
the Toolbox Key in SW DOS...it was a symbol that was meant for a "bent
finger", or "hooked finger" and he placed that symbol next to the
teeth, and they used that to mean the "chomping of the teeth"....When I
first saw that I actually laughed out loud...what was a bent finger
doing next to the teeth? Were they biting their fingers in Nicaragua?

And then I realized that a finger-piece from the toolbox had become a
serious symbol that many Deaf children in Nicaragua knew to mean
"biting", and suddenly it was no longer just something temporary...It
had to become a part of the writing system, because Deaf kids were
reading it daily and accepting its meaning...So I plan to include both
ways of writing biting, in future SignWriting textbooks...I am happy
with either method...but isn't it funny, that a bent finger piece, was
used for something so different? ;-)

Want to see what I mean?...Please see the attached diagram. You will
see that, for me, when I write biting, I have always used Contact
Symbols near the teeth, to show different kinds of mouth action...two
striking symbols, on the side of the teeth, was the way we wrote biting
in DanceWriting, in a Modern and Jazz Dance textbook published in

James...is my diagram correct for your variations? Please send us an
example through a diagram, if you can....Thanks for sharing this with

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