Sign Names

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Thu May 3 18:11:10 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
May 3, 2007

Hello Kelly Jo, Bill, Stefan, Charles, Adam, Stuart and everyone -

I am grateful you are so open to input, Kelly Jo...

There is something that has been on my mind, about standardization of  
fingerspelling and handwriting that is involved with sign names that  
I just want to share...

There are two worlds, when it comes to using SignWriting.

1. There is the world of accurate Movement Writing, for video  
transcription and analysis, and...

2. Then there is the world of standardization and handwriting, where  
you become used to writing a sign one way, even though people perform  
it differently.

And the standard shortens as you write it by hand, because it is so  
much work, when signing your name at the end of a handwritten letter.  
Writing detailed Movement Writing falls by the wayside and is  
replaced with the need for speed in reading and writing...

The writing of your sign name that you chose, Kelly Jo, looks like an  
accurate writing, from a Movement Writing perspective, of what is  
really happening when you sign the name. Nothing wrong with that if  
you have a computer to type with...but the overhead view of symbols,  
with the break in them, generally is harder to write in it is used less when it comes to the standardization  
of sign names and fingerspelling...

And sign names themselves are different than regular signs, when they  
incorporate fingerspelling...since people read them quickly and just  
seeing K and J in the standard fingerspelling, with a quick arm line,  
would be enough for them to know that it is Kelly Jo, when written by  

So this is just food for thought...As Stefan already pointed  
out...maybe writing your sign name by hand in a row...maybe write it  
ten times on see if it is easy to write by hand...that is  
a good way to determine a standardized sign name...

Stefan's chart with the photos and sign names includes a section for  
the handwritten version of each sign maybe you can show us  
your handwriting later, so we can place it in the chart next to your  

And earlier in that discussion of the sign name, Adam had showed  
standardized fingerspelling with an arm line...I think when it comes  
to sign names, that is a realistic suggestion for others to read  

Just my thoughts...

Val ;-)


On May 3, 2007, at 10:23 AM, K.J. Boal wrote:

> No problem, Bill, input is always welcome! :-)
> I generally try to avoid crossing and overlapping lines in writing  
> signs, but sometimes it's just unavoidable...  and in my opinion,  
> this is one of those times.  I figure, the overlap replaces the  
> need for contact symbols.
> Thanks for your comment,
> KJ
>> From: "Bill Reese" <wreese01 at TAMPABAY.RR.COM>
>> Reply-To: sw-l at
>> To: sw-l at
>> Subject: Re: [sw-l] Sign Names
>> Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 10:49:33 -0400
>> I know I'm a little late to this discussion.  When I draft my  
>> civil engineering plans I have rules I follow and one of them is  
>> to avoid lines that cross unnecessarily, as it can get confusing.   
>> I know this doesn't necessarily apply to languages (or we'd be  
>> without or "t's,") but I just couldn't resist this:
>> Kelly Jo's Signature
>> Bill
>> K.J. Boal wrote:
>>> Thanks, Val... I really enjoyed yesterday's discussion too!  The  
>>> J in both signs is actually showing the end position, which is  
>>> why I placed the movement symbol where I did... but either way, I  
>>> prefer the first one! :-)  And thanks again to everyone who made  
>>> comments and suggestions yesterday - I really appreciate them.
>>> KJ
>>>> From: "Valerie Sutton" <signwriting at MAC.COM>
>>>> Reply-To: sw-l at
>>>> To: sw-l at
>>>> Subject: Re: [sw-l] Sign Names
>>>> Date: Wed, 2 May 2007 10:43:14 -0700
>>>> SignWriting List
>>>> May 2, 2007
>>>>> kjoanne403 at wrote:
>>>>> Here are my two best suggestions for rewriting my name sign...  
>>>>> I  personally like the first one best. Our discussion on the  
>>>>> list got  me re-evaluating how I see the sign... I always look  
>>>>> at it from the  top, so I think the top-view handshapes are the  
>>>>> most appropriate. I  may have used the wrong rotation symbol  
>>>>> again on the second sign...  I'm not sure... but those are the  
>>>>> more appropriate palm facings if  you're looking at it from the  
>>>>> front view. (I think...) ;-)
>>>> << Picture1.png >>
>>>> ----------------
>>>> Hello Kelly Jo!
>>>> and hello to Stefan, Charles, Anny, Adam and everyone who  
>>>> contributed  yesterday ;-)
>>>> Thank you for this message, Kelly Jo, showing us the new  
>>>> versions of  your name sign!
>>>> And thanks to everyone yesterday for a lively and interesting   
>>>> discussion...I really enjoyed it ;-)
>>>> I appreciate everyone's comments and I learned from them ;-)
>>>> For me ... I like your two new versions (see pasted below)...  
>>>> The  palm facing is much easier to read for me ;-)
>>>> The white palm is what is seen from the Front View in the second  
>>>> one,  and the first one is showing the overhead view of the  
>>>> white palm as  the second ending position of the J  
>>>> movement ...and the rotation  symbols are good too ;-) For me  
>>>> these are easier to read and produce!!
>>>> << Picture1.png >>
>>>> If the second one is showing the beginning position of the J   
>>>> movement, then normally, the Rotation Symbol would be placed  
>>>> after  the beginning this...(see below)...which  
>>>> is similar  to the standard way we write J when we are writing  
>>>> just  fingerspelling...but I am not asking you to change  
>>>> anything...just  giving you feedback, and whatever you choose is  
>>>> fine...:-)
>>>> << fingerspelling.png >>
>>>> Thanks again for sharing with us...
>>>> and thank you Stefan, for creating the chart with our Sign  
>>>> Names!...I  hope you can post the chart with some photos to the  
>>>> List when you  have a will be fun to see the  
>>>> chart looks great...;-)
>>>> Val ;-)
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