Wikipedia article

Adam Frost icemandeaf at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 3 23:05:31 UTC 2011

I am sorry that you felt that your suggestion was not taken for merit. That was not what I was trying to say, as probably several others on this list as well probably agree for themselves as well. In the comment that I made that you mentioned, I was referring to Deaf and other ASL users. You are correct that they are not the vast majority of Wikipedia users; however, they are the majority who would see that article. You even mentioned that you looked at it because of your studying of ASL. 

Having said that, I do agree with what Stuart said about have a less complex ASL example to go along with the Jack & Jill translation would be good. I personally do not know how to place updated information on Wikipedia, but I also know that it might be difficult to do so since Wikipedia doesn't really smile on involved parties inputting information on articles which they are closely related to. I can understand why Wikipedia does that so that people done create biased articles to make themselves shine in a glorified spotlight. 

So what document do you think would be better for the general population to see on Wikipedia? You are right that it is important to get feedback from people who don't know SignWriting so well, since we can forget what it was like even when we were there not too long ago. (This is something I should have asked before. Accept my apology that I did not.) I will be honest that I do not know if we can change it though, but maybe someone who can will read this.


On Jun 3, 2011, at 3:21 PM, George Veronis wrote:

> A number of people responded to my suggestion about signwriting (SW).  Only two of them understood where I was coming from and why I made the suggestion that a simpler, more straightforward piece is called for in the Wikipedia article.  Valerie Sutton mentioned the origins of SW and how it arose from someone without a background in sign language.  I think that all of the respondents should read and think about what she wrote because at the time she was also not involved in SW as it has developed.  The other person who made very pertinent remarks is Stuart Thiessen, who went through the same experience that I have, viz., very little knowledge at a very early stage of learning ASL.  He, too, needed responses to questions that arose from very little experience with ASL
> I think that communication itself must be handled with care.  One has to take the time and trouble to understand the basis and the reason for remarks made and questions asked.  The article in Wikipedia is in the English language and the topics contained therein are intended for English speaking people.  I wrote as an English speaker and relatively ignorant ASL user who was trying to understand an esoteric 
> topic.  All of you must have been confronted with "Why signwriting - why don't they just use the text?".  That's a very understandable question for someone with little or no training in sign language and with no experience with deaf people. I have attended a total of 12 classes in ASL; for my final exam I decided to try to convey to the class that something called signwriting exists.  No one in a class of fifteen, not even the teacher, had ever heard of signwriting.  So those of you who have been involved with SW for a long time should keep in mind that there is a world of people who might want to know about SW and who will probably ask very simple and elementary questions, as I did.  
> Given what I just wrote, I would like to suggest that a statement like the one that Adam Frost made:
> Having a literal translation will actually be seen as an insult, especially to native users, and will make SignWriting seem to be an oppressors tool to limit how Sign Language is used  must be directed to an audience very different from the vast majority of users of Wikipedia.  I was completely perplexed by it
> and it was only after thinking hard about how in world anyone could misconstrue my simple suggestion that I realized how delicate the issue of communication is and how hard we have to think about the source of the question.  Without giving the issue serious consideration, the two sides, experienced SW users and those seeking to understand what SW is all about, will never make contact and that would be a pity.  But as long as people like Thiessen and Sutton are involved, there is hope that the issue will not get too far out of control.
> With serious good intentions,
> George Veronis  

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