why is the thumb this way

Ingvild Roald iroald at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Jun 27 17:45:17 UTC 2005

Thank you,

this explanation helps a lot. Now I know how to explain it to others as 

To re-invent the symbol at this stage, I agree is not a good idea. So I just 
needed to understand the way of thinking, and now I do, thank you.


>From: "Valerie Sutton" <sutton at signwriting.org>
>Reply-To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
>To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
>Subject: Re: [sw-l] why is the thumb this way
>Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2005 09:46:03 -0700
>  Ingvild Roald wrote:
>I am sure that this has been done with some consideration, but I am  
>wondering about the system behind the way the thumb is shown in some  
>handshape symbols, see attached. For the A-handshape and the L- handshape, 
>the thumb seems to be where it 'ought' to be, while for  the hitch-hiker's 
>handshape, the thumb is coming from the middel of  the hand, where the 
>middle finger is.
>Can you give an explanation, please?
>Hello Ingvild and Everyone!
>Yes...This handshape, which we use for the number 10 in ASL, is a  weird 
>handshape. And to re-invent it now would change so many  documents around 
>the world, that at this time, anyway, I would like  to try to work with it, 
>as it was designed in the 1980's...But it is  good to discuss it, to see if 
>you can live with it ;-)))
>Of course I can see that it is not consistent with the L  handshape...If we 
>were to change how to that symbol works, other  problems pop up you would 
>never believe ...
>One of the best discussions on the web is on this web page...
>My answer on this web page explains how I was thinking when the  symbol was 
>developed 20 years ago...Number 4 in my answer is a good  summary...
>and here is a screen capture of that page:
><< 10-Hand.gif >>

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