Sutton Movement Writing is 40 years old!

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Mon Feb 24 22:45:32 UTC 2014

SignWriting List
February 24, 2014

Thank you! Yes, SignWriting is 40 years old in 2014!

This is a time for celebration and also reflection - I was just reviewing my history papers for 1974, and it was a very active year - so I am trying to document 1974, which was the beginning of 4 out of 5 sections of our system. Only SportsWriting came later…. I had actually forgotten some of these details, until I found some old documents that recorded the history…I must have been awfully energetic to do so much - I guess 40 years has reduced my energy level a bit!

Tini - what year did we meet in Copenhagen? Was it 1974? Or was it earlier, 1970-1972? - I kept traveling back and forth - I was in and out of Denmark, 1970-1976…and then I settled down in Boston -

So I will post the history for the year 1974, which is 40 years ago -

Val ;-)


On Feb 24, 2014, at 2:17 PM, maria galea <signwriting.maria at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

> Happy 40th Birthday SIGNWRITING!! ;))
> maria

On Feb 24, 2014, at 2:12 PM, Pel Tini <tinipel at> wrote:

> Yes Valerie,
> I would very much like to read and print-out the history of dance and sign writing so I can make a print-out  to put in front of my dance writing notes. I can show everyone. If you find the time.
> I'll be watching.
> Tini.


On Feb 24, 2014, at 10:03 AM, Marie Alexander <marie.alexander at UM.EDU.MT> wrote:

> Dear Valerie,
> Here in Malta we are definitely interested.  We hope you will post more details on the
> history of SignWriting.
> Cheers
> Marie

> On 2014-02-24, at 12:40 PM, Valerie Sutton wrote:
>> SignWriting List
>> February 24, 2014
>> In February 2014, Sutton Movement Writing is 40 years old!
>> Sutton Movement Writing & Shorthand is a large writing system for recording all body movement. It includes five sections: DanceWriting for writing dance choreography, SignWriting for writing sign languages, MimeWriting for writing classic mime and animated movement, SportsWriting for writing sports, and MovementWriting, for writing scientific studies on gesture analysis.
>> February 1974 … DanceWriting began officially with the announcement of the first book
>> February 1974 … non-profit organization began in Southern California, USA
>> October 1974 …  SignWriting, MimeWriting (for classic mime) and MovementWriting began in Denmark
>> The non-profit organization behind the system was first established in February, 1974, under the name “The Movement Shorthand Society”, in Newport Beach, California. Later the name changed to “The Center for Sutton Movement Writing. It is now located in La Jolla, California, and provides free services to the world on the web.
>> Are you interested in more history here on the SignWriting List? I am writing our history right now, and I can post more details, but only if you are interested - I can tell you in more detail about the research projects in Denmark and so forth...
>> Val ;-)



Valerie Sutton
SignWriting List moderator
sutton at

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