handwriting stroke ordering

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Thu Jan 11 20:22:48 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
January 11, 2007

Hello Eric!

Eric mead wrote:
> Hi. I'm rather new to all of this, so forgive me if this question  
> has already been addressed.

Welcome to the SignWriting List. You are jumping in head first! That  
is fine...you are brave ;-))

> I am working through the SignWriting handwriting course, and it  
> occurs to me that the ordering of the strokes might be important.  
> In Asian scripts it is VERY important in that it causes rather  
> regular 'mistakes' which can be more easily recognized throughout  
> different handwriting styles.

That is very interesting about Asian scripts...As you know, I am not  
knowledgeable about Asian scripts...technically it does not have any  
connection to SignWriting...but there are two factors that are  
similar...SignWriting can be written in vertical columns and  
SignWriting signs are written in clusters...that is...the symbols are  
not written from left to right in a string, but are instead like  
little groupings of symbols that are both above and below each  
other...so in that sense...the strokes may be valuable...

> (It's also just important traditionally because of calligraphy and  
> history.) I personally believe that it is this stroke ordering  
> which helped to foster the otherwise difficult to decipher  
> calligraphy styles in ancient times. I would love to see a  
> SignWriting calligraphy develop!!

Wonderful. I agree I hope it develops too!!

> Valerie, could you include the ordering of the strokes in each  
> handwriten sign? I believe you did this for the SignWriting  
> printing course pages, right?

I will be happy to do what I can. Stroke-sequencing has not been  
fully developed yet, since until recently, people just wrote by hand  
the best they could, without official courses in Handwriting...so I  
can certainly share with you my personal stroke-sequencing and we can  
see if it fits with what feels good for others...

This is what I propose...

1. Everyone is going to turn in their homework assignment for Lesson  
1 by Monday...(by the way...only page 8 in the homework assignment  
needs to be turned in...)

2. at the same time, on Monday, I will announce the posting of Lesson 2

3. we will spend all of next week making comments on Lesson 1  
homework assignments plus discussing Lesson 2 ;-))

4. and this will repeat for one more week for Lesson 3 as well...

Then the course is finished for now!

What will Lesson 2 and Lesson 3 present?

Lesson 2...a reference chart of most commonly used symbols, including  
movement arrows, facial expressions, contact symbols, punctuation,  
dynamics and more handshapes...all listed in one long chart, showing  
the Printing and Handwriting and Shorthand for each symbol...and then  
a homework assignment

Lesson 3...Cursive writing (connecting symbols within one sign so the  
sign is one complete unit without lifting your pen from the page)  
Cursive writing uses Shorthand mainly, and does not include enough  
detail for most purposes, but for your own personal notes it is quite  

And who knows, Eric...maybe in time these writing styles will become  
more of the mainstream...we are finding our way...that is why the  
reference chart in Lesson 2 is so important...so people can explore  
different writing styles...

Thanks for your interest and participation!

Val ;-)

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