Stylistics - Handshapes - handwriting

Kimberley A. Shaw kshaw at WELLESLEY.EDU
Wed Aug 10 18:36:04 UTC 2005

Agreed! My "4" handshape in handwriting ends up with a rounded -- not
pointed -- top more often than not ... and accidently coloring in the
thumb is the reason I ended up with an "s" where I wanted an "e" in my
brushwritten sample. 
Sandy, I'll have to start trying your cool version of the "4" handshape;
would solve that problem nicely! 
Kim from Boston

sw-l at on Wednesday, August 10, 2005 at 2:10 PM
-0500 wrote:
>A question I wanted to ask the list.  I find the "4" hand shape (
>) 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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