Typing in SignWriting

Bill Reese wreese01 at TAMPABAY.RR.COM
Mon Mar 29 00:14:29 UTC 2004

You know, Val, I was reading your responses and, while pondering the
issue of typing Signwriting, I remembered something I've seen in some
word processors.  When typing a word, sometimes the word processor will
try to fill it in for you - making a guess as what you could be typing.
Could the same be done with SignWriting using the dictionary entries?
That as someone types in Signwriting they could be given choices that
match the first couple of things typed?  I would imagine if this could
be done, then you would have a solution.  People would find typing to be
easier than cutting and pasting from the dictionary and so would start


Valerie Sutton wrote:

> SignWriting List
> March 28, 2004
> Dear SW List, and Stephen!
> Thanks for these questions...
>> How many signs per minute can a native signer type using SignWriter.
>> What
>> is the curve for learning SignWriter and what speeds are possible?
> Richard Gleaves, the designer of the software SignWriter DOS,
> collaborated with me, starting in 1986, and our collaboration created a
> unique and very different kind of typing system, which is built into
> SignWriter DOS. And because we designed it, and we knew what it can do,
> I can say that I personally, and a handful of others, can type in
> SignWriter DOS close to the speed of typing slowly in English...and I
> believe, with a few design changes, we could make the experience faster
> too.
> The keystrokes for typing SignWriting are very interesting and I bet if
> any of you could come to my home in La Jolla, California, and take a
> SignWriter typing skills class with me, you too would become faster at
> typing SignWriting directly.
> The problem has been, that I have never held such workshops, and of
> course I should. Stefan Woehrmann, in Germany, has taught workshops on
> the SignWriter Computer Program for several years now, and I am not
> sure what techniques of typing skills are included in those courses,
> because some people become sadly dependent on the pasting from the
> dictionary feature, which then lets them be a little lazy. They can
> paste a sign in from the dictionary and simply change it a little to
> match another sign and then they don't actually develop typing skills
> for speed.
> So I was thinking of holding some SignWriter Speed Typing workshops in
> my home here...anyone interested?
> As far as testing SignWriter typing for speed versus English, I think
> we need to hold some courses in typing skills first, but then later
> such testing for speed could be done...
> But speed is not really the point...The point is that there is now a
> way to type directly in the movements of signed languages, and English
> glosses used to show ASL grammar structure does not give the Deaf child
> the same experience as typing directly in a language...
> Val ;-)

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