SignWriting List Forum
Date: Thu Mar 7, 2002 6:20
"Angus B. Grieve-Smith"
Subject: Re: Is SignWriting really a writing system?
On Thu, 7 Mar 2002, Valerie Sutton wrote:
> The students, whom I believe are all hearing people, and probably not
> that fluent in any signed language, complained that "no one would want
> to use it for a daily writing system because it is like
> heiroglyphics"...so I just responded to their discussion board...thought
> you might like to read my answer too...
I haven't seen the original posting, Valerie, but the sentence you
quoted seems so incoherent that it's probably not worth responding to with
explanations. It might be better to ask questions that try to make sense
of the apparent inconsistencies. Here are some of mine:
The ancient Egyptians used hieroglyphics as a daily writing system
for hundreds of years, so why wouldn't anyone want to use a system like
it? How is SignWriting like hieroglyphics anyway?
I got a similar response when I showed Stokoe notation to an ASL
instructor once. He said something like "That looks like Chinese." I
don't think he knew anything more about Chinese than Judy's student knows
about hieroglyphics. It's a way of saying, "This doesn't look like
anything I've seen before, and it confuses me, and I don't like it."
How you deal with that attitude once it's explicit is another
story, of course...
-Angus B. Grieve-Smith
University of New Mexico