Monday, May 15, 2017

She's Not There, ASL, by Soph

It sounds like Soph’s speaker is torn.

Soph: Chip, get off my back.

The sound quality in her other videos is better than this one. I bet you know this song by heart so you can turn it way down and not miss anything. It sure is a fun song.

Can you bear with me a minute please? If you do then you’ll notice some unique insight here and no one else is going to tell you anything like this. Ever.

I learned the song in ASL good and hard, like a K-pop dancer, before checking on YouTube to see if anyone interpreted it. That way their style choices will not influence mine.

I learned this song so thoroughly that its tricky bits, its non ASL parts just come right out of me even though they’re unnatural phrases. They don’t really work in ASL. “Her voice was soft and cool” and “Her eyes were clear and bright” are both not very natural sentences in that language. I don’t think. So I looked for those sentence to see how Soph managed them and we do say them differently. My “cool” is like my whole body chilled. My “bright” are two flicks. The flicks come from “clear” that is two hands wiping a window, flick, for “bright.”

But what got me started on this whole thing is the incredibly stupid sign for the word “do.”

This is the part that needs bearing. Please.

I hate that word in ASL and I always did. From the very beginning, the very first book, when I saw the picture I dismayed, “You got to be kidding.” But they’re not kidding. It’s a very stupid word. The sign looks like playing a piano. Sort of. As if you are holding a sanding block with two hands and scraping back and forth with the woodgrain. It’s stupid. When the word is so easily spelled!

No matter what motion you decide for the word “do” it cannot go faster or more easily or more efficiently than spelling d, just drop the index finger to o. Point up then stop pointing up.

It’s been decades and I still hate it. I can’t get over it. So I looked again to see again if the dictionaries still agree, and they do. I looked in like six places and I’m not exaggerating either. All over a stupid two-letter word. Here. I’ll show them. Don’t bother clicking, it’s not worth looking, it’s just proof. They all show how stupid the word “do” is in this language.

ASL Pro.  This is far as I can link. Click “D,” scroll to middle of the list to “do” click and watch video

Signing Savvy, the sanding block version

Spread the Sign Type “do” into search bar then scroll down to “do” in the list, then click the American flag.  The guy does “frightened” style of the “sanding block” version.

Sign ASL two videos, both “conjuring” style of “piano playing” version

Michigan State ASL Browser  click D scroll to “do”  Video corrupted, written description says the sanding block version.

So that’s how many? Five.

Two more dictionaries show another way to say “do.” And this pleases me greatly because now I can finally drop that ridiculous sign forever and pick up this new idea. Starting right now. The way you say “money” in some American Italian gesturing, and the way you say, “gimmie” or “deal me another card.”  This is a lot better than the piano. It just is.

Hold me. Inside I’m rejoicing too hard.

Handspeak shows it “deal me a card”

and Life Print shows rub thumb against fingertips.   “D” to “do”

Thank you! These guys are great. How I love them so, even more now.

And yet Soph has no problem with the “do” that I hate so much. She looks fine. She pulls off “do” as if it’s not a dumb jerky word. I admire that. Her hands go up like a little piano and that’s that. Perfectly acceptable. So what’s my problem with it? I don’t know. It’s psychological. It’s so stupid a movement it forces me to confront the word is unnecessary. The concept itself for “do” is unnecessary. I can always leave it out with no loss.

Soph’s “her” is both of our sign for  “there.” She uses the same sign for both. “(the woman) there,” and later for “(over) there.”

Whereas I say “her” with an “R” brushed forward against the cheek, the area of the face for female signs. I think my choice comes from Seeing Essential English that reigned supreme at the time that I leaned, but I don’t know. It’s how I’ve always said “her” so “she” is the same motion made with an “S.”

I say “cry” the way Jeff said it that cracked me up laughing as a teen. He really is funny. He drags a hooked index finger down heavily and steadily from one eye while shifting his lower mandible back and forth and putting on an exaggeratedly tortured sad face. The whole thing together is not at all sad. And now because of that I can’t seem to manage a proper “cry.”  Soph does it properly, she uses two hooked fingers and cries like a paid Egyptian mourner.

Soph’s “care,” a pick at the heart closely resembles the sign for “like,” while mine is actually “don’t care” that is discard something from the nose.  Textbook “Care” is actually two stacked “K” signs, so four fingers sticking out from fists, together drawing  a circle flatly over the ground. It means “supervise” kind of "care” and it’s close to the sign for “safe” and for “keep” and for “save.”

Soph says, “How would I know, why should I like?”

“The way she looked.”

Soph does it correctly, “the face” I do it incorrectly, two V fingers at the eye  “looking at” plus the sign for “seem.”  The "seem" sign turns. It's moving. It's being a verb. That is, “looking at seeming.”

Soph says “Her eyes are clean (a slate) and wipe (a window).” I say, “Her eyes are wipe and flick” They both make the same point that the song does, “her eyes are this and that.”

I say “way” with two “W’s” and everyone else says “path” as if shoving two horse blinders forward.

Soph says “do” like a piano player and for now on I say “do”  like a modern hipster, “gimme.”

You’ll see all this in the video.

I am really digging this woman, Soph. She has a lot of fun with requests for older songs.

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