SignWriting History: Questions

Valerie Sutton sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Wed May 12 22:46:28 UTC 2004

SignWriting List
May 12, 2004


> So as a teenager you invented basic symbols to symbolize – head and 
> arms,
> hands and legs , forward, backward …....And while doing so you 
> identified a typical symbol set that is needed to
> describe the dance-movements as best as possible for your personal use.
> Would be great to have a look at your old drafts as a 15 year old 
> girl!! Did
> you buy a small booklet? Did you copy you first handwritten drafts at 
> night
> with much accuracy on extra sheets ??  Did you invent first symbol –
> sequence – orders??  I try to imagine an enthusiastic dancer  (age 15) 
> who
> is reaching out for the stars!!

Dear SW List!
You are so sweet! Yes, I did reach for the stars, as I know everyone 
does when they are young and eager to make a difference in the 
world...and...Yes I had my own notebook, which is yellow and old 
now...I just posted a few pages from that notebook...

I smile at your term "symbol set"...That is the correct name for 
different groups of symbols in computers... A term we use today.

These are Symbolsets:

and so...

But in those days we did not write by computer. The personal computer 
was not developed yet. So we wrote by hand. And then later we developed 
Transfer Sheets for pressing wax symbols on the concept of a 
computer symbolset didn't exist yet. But you are right that I developed 
the symbols...not in a sequence though, because dictionaries were not 
necessary in DanceWriting!

The Sign-Symbol-Sequence term started in 1981, when I started working 
full time with SignWriting. I remember using the term SSS while 
teaching in Denmark in 1982. It was a new concept...a list of symbols 
used to write signs, that had a specific order. I even made a printed 
flyer with the SSS at that time...I should try to find that to make a is fun to see how SignWriting looked in 1981!

Val ;-)

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