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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sun Nov 25, 2001  3:40 pm
Subject:  Celebrating Different SignWriting Styles

SignWriting List
November 25, 2001

Dear SW List members:
I am writing an article called "Celebrating Different SignWriting
Styles", which will demonstrate how SignWriting is being used
differently around the world. I feel so honored, when I realize that
people are using SignWriting at all. When one thinks of the different
cultures and languages around the world, and when one thinks of the
different kinds of professions that are using SignWriting, such as
Sign Language researchers, linguists, teachers of the deaf, Deaf
adults, Deaf children, psychologists, mentally-retarded people who
are not deaf but who use a signed language, and yes...even movement
notators (grin), it is quite amazing how well we can read each
other's documents!!

I remember awhile back, Stefan brought up the history of Louis
Braille, the blind inventor of the Braille writing system. I am not
an expert on Braille's life, but I believe, after he died, that
Braille users argued with each other. They could not come to an
agreement as to how to use Braille. I believe it was called "the war
of the dots"...and they never came to an agreement - instead there
are at least three different ways to use Braille around the world

There are two ways to look at that story. You could say that is a
shame that they could not get one way to write Braille.


You can take a different more positive attitude, and one that is
true....namely that each way of writing brings joy to someone - and
that is all that matters! If people are benefiting from a particular
writing style, then those differences should be celebrated, and they
should be made available to everyone around the world.

So I choose the latter attitude. I hope my web article will be of use
to people. The only problem is time...but in time it will be finished!

And I will be starting a series of email messages now, showing how a
SignWriting sentence is written in Denmark, and how I personally
would write it, and how the same would be written differently in
another country and so forth...

The amazing thing about all this is that we can read each other's
writing anyway! The differences are quite minor...

I also need to complete the writing of one hundred Swiss signs...the
team in Switzerland is waiting for my feedback! I have started a new
service called "SignWriting Services", where research groups with
funding can hire my time to write signs for them...but I will tell
you more about that later...

For now, have a wonderful Sunday!
Val ;-)

Valerie Sutton


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