[B-Greek] written sigma
j.weaks at tcu.edu
Sun Feb 22 19:41:47 EST 2004
I spent many semesters as the teaching assistant to a beginning NT
Greek class, which meant I interacted with learning students at just
the level you're talking about. eg. "How do I make this silly letter?"
I had a vested interest in their making legible marks since I graded
I like Carl's recommendation of using the lunate sigma,
with the possible exception that for the first couple weeks it will add
to the "Here's another Greek letter that looks like a different English
letter!" such as eta looking like an "n" or chi looking like an "x".
But, the main question was about how to make the stroke, and using a
"c" encourages the same stroke beginning point as making the sigma that
I ended up encouraging, which is opposite of that which Bert de Hann
originally described. The "make and 'o' and then add a tail" method
nearly always ended up producing undesirable script once the student
formed habits around it in regular writing. I suggest starting at the
top right and moving left and then circling down to make the "o"
portion of the sigma. It produces more consistent lettering, IMHO, that
looked something like the textbook sigma.
So, there's very little stroke difference between Carl's suggestion and
mine. It represents the same contiguous counter-clockwise motion, it
allows for a variance in just how much of the full sigma letter one
wants to graph as a general practice, and it also allows for
explanation regarding how the two (textbook sigma and lunate sigma)
forms came to be.
On Feb 22, 2004, at 5:20 PM, Carl W. Conrad wrote:
> At 5:09 PM -0500 2/22/04, <bertdehaan at gosympatico.ca> wrote:
>> I am doing some composition work and this involves developing a hand
>> writing style.
>> I have been writing the Sigma starting at the top, go down the left
>> back up the right, then change direction to make the horizontal line
>> the top.
>> Now I read that this is the cursive Omicron.
>> Supposedly the sigma is to be started at the top, go down the right
>> and back up the left and follow through to the horizontal line.
>> I find this way a little sloppy looking but if this is how it is
>> meant to
>> look, I'll go for it.
>> Any suggestions? Maybe a web-site that offers help with this?
>> Thank you.
>> Bert de Haan.
> A good option, in my opinion, is to adopt the lunate sigma: the simple
> used for both initial-medial sigma and for final sigma: it's easy to
> and it's close to what was actually used at one period in the
> long life.
> Carl W. Conrad
> Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
> 1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
> cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
> WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/
> B-Greek home page: http://metalab.unc.edu/bgreek
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