# Symbol consistancy?

Charles Butler chazzer3332000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Aug 23 21:59:25 UTC 2006

```I guess I am confused.  I was under the impression that in building, for example, a Sign Symbol Sequence you'd be picking an exact handshape and palm facing with only one possible code per handshape/palm facing, not a mirror image of a possible shape.  If one sorts by handshape, how can one be certain one is getting the handshape AND rotation one has requested if the system doesn't contain the coding for a particular handshape, hand (right or left) and rotation.

I guess that it is the encoding system for the computer program that I'm curious about.  If it is built by a drawing system, then conceivably you'd only need one handshape per handshape, the rest would be flips, mirrors, mathematical rotations, and fill ins.

Charles Butler

Valerie Sutton <signwriting at MAC.COM> wrote:
SignWriting List
August 23, 2006

On Aug 22, 2006, at 9:41 PM, Adam Frost wrote:
> I think I was a little vague with words because I am talking about
> the next level of order. Since I am now at a desktop computer, I
> can sceen copy what I meant. This screen shot from SignText first
> shows the set of symbols that I was refering to, and the second is
> the base symbol that I was compareing. Notice that the third and
> sixth columns are ordered differently.

No, it is not inconsistent...it is simply a choice. Did you know that
there are actually 10 palm facings? But we only have 6 in the
IMWA...so if we had every palm facing in the IMWA the grid would be
10 grid-squares across rather than 6, and you would see that the one
symbols in the IMWA and if we were to extend that to 10 palm facings,
it would be so huge that computer programmers would have a lot of
trouble storing all the symbols ...so I had to choose which of the 10
palm facings are used more...and I made a decision..but when you
write by hand, you can write everything you need, plus you can still
find the symbol you need in the 6 palm facings...and simply flop it
to get what you want...Stefan and I talked about these 10 palm
facings for about 6 months a few years ago, on the List, and it was
never solved because we cannot add 10 palm facings to the IMWA...it
would hurt our software development too much and create other
inconsistencies that are just horrible...

So there are two groups of hands in the way they work in the
IMWA...there are the square-based handshapes that have the finger on
the side that you are talking about, and then there are the Angle-
based and C-based handshapes...and the Angles and C shapes have what
you are calling an inconsistency...but it is simply a choice on my
part as to which was the worse problem...Take a look at the plain C
handshape attached...all I did was add an index finger to the shape.
But you can flop it if you wish to get the other 10 palm facings...

Writing by hand was wonderful! I am not able to change thousands of
symbols now, Adam, no matter how much the inconsistency may bother
you, because if I changed it, it would change thousands of other
symbols in the IMWA and then I would be overwhelmed and unable to do
anything...

So that is the way it is...

But it is good you noticed this..It shows you are using SignWriting
in depth! Everyone notices this issue of lacking some of the 10 palm
facings sooner or later!!

Val ;-)

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