forum SignWriting List Forum
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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Mon Feb 1, 1999  2:54 am
Subject:  Re: About Sign Dic...


On Sun, 31 Jan 1999 "Chip" McGruder wrote:

> I mention this to you because, after seeing that incredibly
>effort's screenshot of the SignDic recently posted, I think maybe ordering the
>Signs by patterns might be reasonable.
> As a first suggestion, perhaps dividing the Signs into
> 1) Static/Fluid
> 2) Either Hand/Left Hand/Right Hand/Both Hands
> 3) Other Body Parts
> 4) Speed of Sign
> 5) I can't think of any others but I'm sure the rest of y'all can.

>William J. "Chip" McGruder

Thanks Chip, for this great information. By the way, for those who want to
study the entire message and missed it, you can always go to the
SignWriting List Archive to read previously posted messages:

SignWriting List Archives

Anyway, Chip, you have touched upon something that is "right down my alley"
so to speak :-)

A few days ago I was asked how I invent the SignWriting symbols...and you
may remember that I explained that I blur my eyes and write what I see
without looking at my hands as a part of the process. We have a very fast
and accurate shorthand system, where we write at the speed of movement.
Working with visual patterns was a part of how the system was developed.

Along that same philosophy...I have been working on our
Sign-Symbol-Sequence in the same way. I experiment with different sequences
by "blurring my eyes" and "seeing" the signs shift or flow from one
category to the next, as I look down the list of signs in the dictionary.
This is not based on a knowledge of any one signed language, but is based
on visual sequences or patterns that seem to flow naturally, based on how
the body is made. We have a real writing system, and when we look up signs
by Sign-Symbol-Sequence we are looking at hundreds of signs at a time very
quickly, and I am convinced that the only way we will have children around
the world looking up and finding signs quickly is to do it by "visual
patterns". So I agree this is the final conclusion...but how we get there
is the question!

Daniela in Brazil, I am sure, will want to tell us how she is planning to
categorize the signs. I have told her briefly about our
Sign-Symbol-Sequence, but she and I have not had time yet to share our
ideas together. So I am looking forward to working with Daniela and perhaps
we can experiment a little together. No matter what, I think Sign Dic will
be a big step forward for Deaf Education.

I will keep your message, Chip. Thanks so much for the excellent input!

Valerie ':-)

Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SW


Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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