Surface symbols

Gallant, Philippe PGallant at MERCYDESMOINES.ORG
Thu Dec 15 15:25:26 UTC 2005



I noticed the arrow seems not right since I don't move my hand down for
English.  I move my hand toward to myself.  The first English spelling
with correct arrow symbol is correct.  Make sense?

Philippe "Philip" Gallant
Cultural Advocacy Health Services Coordinator
Mercy Medical Center
Interpretation Services Department 
           VOICE:  (866) 410-5787 ext. 73013
               TTY:  (515) 643-SIGN (7446)
               FAX:  (515) 643-2859


From: owner-sw-l at
[mailto:owner-sw-l at] On Behalf Of Valerie Sutton
Sent: Thursday, December 15, 2005 9:16 AM
To: sw-l at
Subject: Re: [sw-l] Surface symbols


SignWriting List

December 15, 2005


Cherie from Georgia, USA wrote:

	hello, newbie Cherie here....  I am slowly working my way thru
the e-lessons, and came to one on the surface symbols.  While working on
a document recently, I needed the sign for 'English', and all of the
ones (I think there were two or three) in the signPuddle were very hard
to read because the symbols overlapped... would that be a case where you
would use the surface symbol?


Hello Cherie and Everyone!

You are right that the sign for English, in ASL, is a hard one to write.
In the late 1980's to mid-1990's I worked with a group of native-ASL
signers, called the DAC (Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting), and
that old SignSpelling of the ASL sign for ENGLISH was their choice. And
although I can see it must be hard for newcomers, I personally got used
to the old SignSpelling...the writing became normal to me because I saw
it so often...SignSpellings are funny that way....We can work long on
how to write something, and after awhile you get used to one spelling
and reading it stops being a problem...


Yes. We do have Surface Symbols and they are used occasionally, in
hard-to-write cases. But we try not to use them when possible, since
everyday reading, for Deaf children, goes smoother without them. They
are more abstract....


But the one thing that your new writing misses, is the need for the
Grasp is a Plus sign...that symbol is necessary to read the
sign for ENGLISH (for me at least) because it means that one hand is
grasping or holding the other...


Anyway, I just went into SignPuddle and added a fourth version showing
another way to show the hands relating to each here are all
four first two signs are actually different
signs...The first one moves back toward the chest, and not down...The
second one the right hand moves down twice...but I could re-enter those
with the new hand configuration if you wish, that I entered in version


Although I can read the old SignSpellings, the fourth one I just entered
is a little easier to read for me are welcome to experiment
with new SignSpellings and add them to the SignPuddle. I look forward to
your response!  Val ;-)









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