Re: The official WWW Hand Gesture

Tim Berners-Lee (
Fri, 7 May 93 09:35:26 +0100

> From: Marc VanHeyningen <>
> To:
> Date: Thu, 06 May 1993 12:02:29 -0500

> Discovered by accident earlier today....

> Hold your hand (the right one works best) up, and curl your pinky
> down. Three fingers are now sticking up.

> Spread them apart (if you keep them together, you look like a Boy

> Now, it makes the letter "W" stand out reasonably clearly. Plus,
> you're sticking up 3 fingers, so it represents the number 3. So
> a W! It's a 3! It's W3! What more could anybody possibly ask for
> an official WWW hand gesture?

> Someobdy needs to develop a secret WWW handshake based on this.

> - Marc

This reminds me of the IETF meeting (resaurant BOF) at
which the official sign language sign for "Internet" was
constructed. It was based on the "I" sign (little finger
of main hand only up?) and included suggestions of "wire"
(two little fingers meeting in the middle tip to tip
in a straight line?) and "friend" (two little fingers
linked). It was something like little fingers tip to tip
rotated back and forth one against the other.
I may have got this all wrong -- Cynthia you
can correct me. I don't know whether it made it to RFC
status yet.

As for WorldWideWeb, it sounds like it matches similar
criteria. It is based on W (middle three fingers only
up, palm away from you). I don't know what "3" is.
(Three fingers together?)
Maybe to distinguish "WorldWideWeb" from "W" it has to be
be modified a bit -- perhaps the three fingers of one
hand (W) meeting the three fingers of the other hand (3)
reminicent of Internet, connection, wire. If something
suggesting "knowlegde" and/or sharing could be snuck in
there then that would be all the better. Is the sign for
"W" backwards (palm toward you) already taken?

Cynthia: WWW is an information-sharing system for the
Internet, in case you haven't come across it (which I hope
you will, as I'd like to see all the Internet Drafts and RFCs
available on it.)

Tim Berners-Lee