Writing the 4 Group in handwriting

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Sat Dec 2 15:22:51 UTC 2006

SignWriting List
December 2, 2006

Hello Stuart!
Thanks for this message...

Stuart Thiessen wrote:
> Well, with the white hand, it is easy, but I am looking more at the  
> filled-in hand.  This is my usual order of writing the B and E hand  
> before I shade it in.

I can see by the diagram that you attached earlier, that the thick  
thumb and the dark shading of the Printing, was becoming a burden to  
you, when writing by hand. That makes sense. I am sorry we have not  
had one hour together alone so I could show you how we hand-wrote  
years ago...the NAD conference was wonderful but hectic and no time  
for that.... But we could discuss this at length on Skype...that  
holds promise for a good writing discussion...

So now let me explain the way we wrote in the 1980s and 1990s...

In Handwriting, we didn't do a lot of the details..For example...a  
thumb on a white palm facing was oftentimes a single slash, or a  
quick line, partially inside the symbol and partially outside the  
symbol...it was done after all the other strokes were finished, so it  
was a different Stroke-Sequence (see diagram below).

Then, continuing with that style, the thick thumb for the palm facing  
that is black, became two slashes...very fast to write. And since the  
only time you have the thick thumb is when the palm facing is black,  
just those two slashes alone meant the palm facing was the back of  
the hand...no need to fill anything in...

Here are some variations of ways to hand-write these  
symbols...without adding any new symbols to the mix...You can see  
that some of them tried to shade-in by using stripes, but others  
didn't bother...the only one that is required to have some shading is  
the side view...but the front and back views can get away with no  
shading just by the single and double strokes for the thumb...and the  
strokes do not have to be so perfect...they can be slashes for the  

The thumb-strokes must be partially inside the symbol though...if the  
thumb-stroke is only outside the symbol, then it looks like other  
thumbs that are sticking out and then it is no longer a 4-hand or an  
E, as you know...so when writing handwriting....some people were more  
careful and made sure the single and double strokes were only inside  
the symbol...it depends are who you are writing for...half-way in and  
out works though and I tended to do that all the time!

   Val ;-)

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