Order of writing

Jason Hopkins codenosher at YAHOO.COM
Mon Nov 20 22:17:22 UTC 2006


I'm new to SW.  I find the reading pretty straight forward, but writing takes some extra thought.

One thing that is unique with trying to document a visual language is the order in which to start laying out the symbols.  I don't mean word order, but the order in which the different aspects of a sign are written.  

Some parts of the sign are not needed, so I have to determine, from the available symbols, which are NOT necessary to convey my meaning.  Then I need to decided where to put the symbols.  The order of placement is what I'm finding interesting.  

I know, it's a detail that is probably absorbing too much of my attention, but that's the kind of guy I am :)

I tend to follow this order:

Head, Face
Hand shape, Orientation
Movement Direction, Arrow Choice

I don't follow this like a checklist, it just happens to be the order I use when constructing a SW image.  Some symbols are clearly not needed for a specific sign in order to convey full meaning, so I don't worry about them.

For example, when I create the SW image for "ponder", I first think to myself, in this case I need a head ad a face.  On the face I need eyebrows and a mouth.  I don't even think about not needing shoulders, it doesn't even come up.  I then determine the hand shape and orientation, and where to put them in relation to the face.  Then I think about movement direction and what arrows will best show it.

I'm curious, is this the type of thought process that others use?  Do you use this order or something different?

-Jason Hopkins

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