Thursday, June 8, 2017

semaphore towers

How did I even get here? 

It started out by looking up the word "misinformation" in ASL. I knew there wouldn't be a sign for it but I looked anyway. It will have to be something like "wrong information" or simply "mistake." 

And looking for "misinformation" in ASL brings up results having to do with misinformation about ASL. That was expected too. Not getting the sign for the word, but getting the word applied to ASL  happens to nearly every sign I look up. Because I'm looking up English words and because I already know most all the signs. 

One of those pages is Dictionary blog on the history of ASL that dispels the idea that ASL is based on English. It's based on French. ASL originated in France and was brought here by an American who also brought along a French colleague to help him get the language developed here and who infused it with his own French-based linguistics. 

The article is good while the comments to it are awful. They show more confusion than clarity. Reading through them is dismaying. 

So we're in France and we're looking at signaling. That's how we got here. 

French also invented semaphore signaling. Now, taking all this along with their groundbreaking work in cracking Egyptian hieroglyphs you must conclude they're clever with languages. Don't you think?

Amusing Planet ran a piece on historic French semaphore towers that is more extensive than any of the videos I've seen on YouTube. 

DuckDuckGo images [historic semaphore towers.]

Amusing Planet is a wonderful site and a fine place to visit to get off threadbare worldweary politics that still manages to be fierce to the point of psychosis. They feature all kinds of strange things that are real.


Mumpsimus said...

The technology to build a semaphore network existed back in the Bronze Age. I wonder why it took so long for them to appear? Such networks would have been enormously valuable to any large empire.

Maybe they're not economically feasible without telescopes/binoculars.

Sixty Grit said...

Great system, except at night. Or in fog. Or rain. But other than that, terrific!

Fr Martin Fox said...

Mumpsimus --

I have pondered questions like that about any number of things. The steam engine, for example. The ancient Greeks created a rudimentary steam engine, but did nothing with it.