Stylistics - Handshapes - handwriting

Stuart Thiessen sw at PASSITONSERVICES.ORG
Wed Aug 10 18:10:44 UTC 2005

A question I wanted to ask the list.  I find the "4" hand shape (
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) and similar symbols in the '4' category difficult to write accurately 
with handwriting.  I wonder if any of you have a standard way to write 
it that makes it easier or is there a way we can come up with a 
handwriting convention that means this printed symbol, but is written 
differently for handwriting purposes?  I think it is great printed, but 
handwriting this symbol is awkward for me. I keep scratching it out and 
rewriting it because I keep overcoloring in the white thumb. I try to 
trace the white thumb to tell myself to avoid coloring it in, but when 
I am taking quick notes while watching someone sign, invariably, I 
color it in.



On Aug 10, 2005, at 12:48, Kimberley A. Shaw wrote:

> Hello all:
> This is an exciting thread; I think that the demands of fluid 
> handwriting
> will be pushing SW in whole new directions the more people know about 
> and
> use it!
> I have just recently returned from 2 weeks of ASL immersion at 
> Gallaudet
> University, and have kept a SignWrittten journal while there -- only
> instead of using regular pens/pencils, I think that the Asian 
> calligraphy
> brush lends itself *very* nicely to SignWriting! Why? It is much 
> easier to
> make a very large range of thick/thin lines, even better than with a
> fountain pen, and I have even been able to easily make those filled-in
> right-hand arrows with only one pass, without needing to go back and 
> color
> in a previously-outlined arrow. A jpeg sample of my SW with a Sakura 
> Pigma
> "Sumi brush" is attached to this e-mail; it is a very easy-to-use 
> sortof
> -like-a-felt-tip pen. Next, I plan to learn how to do the whole
> inkstone/plain-brush thing ...
> Will be catching up on 2 weeks of SW-list-forum later! Gally was
> excellent. Very nice to take a break from having to use my ears, and I
> enjoyed getting more fluent with ASL.
> Best,
> Kim from Boston
> PS - PLEASE ignore the SW mistakes! Ugh. My name's Kimberley, not
> Kimberlsy ... you may find other "oops". KAS
> sw-l at on Friday, August 05, 2005 at 5:31 AM 
> -0500
> wrote:
>> Hi List!
>> You may remember discussions in the past where quite a few people 
>> wanted
>> some sort of SignWriting modified for handwriting easier handwriting -
>> or so that the system can be written cursively instead of having to
>> "draw" the signs a bit like you might copy the style of  printed
>> material by "drawing" it instead of writing it.
>> Some suggestions for handwriting seem to be based on the shorthand
>> system or by losing some of the information in other ways. This isn't
>> the way it's done in oral language writing, where instead of imitating
>> printed matter, letters are written quite differently to suit the pen
>> and the human hand. In the Roman alphabet there are even two different
>> handwriting systems - cursive and carolignian - which are designed to
>> suit different kinds of pens and sensibilities.
>> So instead of resorting to shorthand or data loss, I've gradually,
>> through usage, figured out some cursive ways of writing SW. See the
>> attachment for how I write various kinds of handshapes and how I do
>> shading. It shows a sample of handshapes, but I have no trouble 
>> writing
>> any BSL handshape using similar principles.
>> There are a few guidleines for writing handshapes cursively:
>> 1. If the index finger is to be written, start writing at the tip of 
>> the
>> index finger.
>> 2. For spread hands, start writing at the tip of the baby finger and 
>> end
>> the first stroke at the tip of the thumb.
>> Shading is done using a multiplication cross - it's like, instead of 
>> the
>> black and white gloves you have gloves with a cross on the back. I 
>> tried
>> a lot of different shapes for the hand shading but this is the only 
>> one
>> I've found that works well for all orientations.
>> Any thoughts, opinions or further ideas?
>> Sandy
> <handwritten SW.jpg>

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