Saturday, April 28, 2018


I was at an event this evening where I was subjected to a loud live band. My ears are still ringing. I saw a woman signing and I did what Chip suggested - I pointed at my ear and flicked my hand away as if to suggest that my hearing has fled. She was more than willing to show me a few things, and ended up using her fist to circle her heart as if to say that she loves signing. I was unable to ask her where I might learn ASL, as my signing skills are somewhere between those of Pahoo-Ka-Ta-Wah and the guy signing behind Obama at the dead commie's funeral, but since it is becoming clear that I am going deaf perhaps I should get serious about it.

I much prefer quiet places, to wit:

Link has been corrected.


ampersand said...

I keep my speakers on mute because of the obnoxious music people embed with their videos, particularly the instructional ones.

Chip Ahoy said...


Care to see something funny? [sorry, asl]

Okay, maybe that wasn't so funny. [sorry, not sorry] In which we see "grass" is the same sign as "hay."

Back when you whippersnappers were just pups and the internet was just invented I kept checking online to see what is available in ASL videos and dictionary. There weren't nuth'n. NUTH'N!

But now there's everything all over the place. Dictionaries of dictionaries. Dictionaries of world dictionaries. So you can literally look all over the whole world and see what people call themselves. It's much better than the college level classes I took. Infinitely better.

I think the kids are on the right track by listening to the music they like then looking up the words then looking up how to say the words. It's a start.

They learn to match their facial expression with the words/signs they are using.

Then they realize they're not going for the word, rather, the concept the word stands for. Then try to match concept for concept. And sometimes that means saying things, showing things, backwards.

It's always something happens to something.

The something is described. So nouns sort of contain their own adjectives. And the verbs are shown occurring. You end up talking like painting a picture that moves, sometimes sentences look like little newsreels.

The whole thing occurred to me suddenly in a single sequence shown by Jeff Dell, my gregarious surfer-boy friend with 10X more acquaintances than I had myself until he turned reclusive horse handler with untrimmed nose hairs sticking out

I asked, "what happened?"

He answered, "corner" (of a wall) "peek" (around the corner" "eye contact" (the wall guy and someone at large) "withdraw" (behind the wall) "disappear" "leave"

And that looked like a movie.

And my brain went "holy shit." That was awesome. So that's how I should be talking. Show what's happening.

And in an instant my English improved.

From thereon I could speak English like I was supposed to be signing. My little stories ended up with a lot more English adjectives. A slightly more clear something occurs to something format developed.

From thereon I could see more clearly how my deaf friends were actually better communicators than my hearing friends and my family. And that showed all over everywhere.

If I asked, as you do, "how was your weekend?" The hearing people relay the highlights. Temporally they work backwards through time, recalling the nearest incidents and work their way back.

Deaf would start at the beginning and end at the ending, elaborate the high points with finer detail and skip through the dull parts, but it was reeled off like a movie.

Hearing people speak like filling a cloud with substance by pumping material into it.

Deaf people spoke as if filing a police report.

This really helped me at Regis where writing a lot is a significant part of their education. We all ended up reading and writing m'the'r f'krs. And just knowing deaf people and speaking to hem helped me a lot. Although it's no help at all with grammar and spelling. Frankly, they're all terrible at English.

Chip Ahoy said...

<anecdote alert >
A group of five thirty-something men working in a print shop were having a vocabulary contest. One cupped his hand and inverted it over the palm of his other hand. A dome made by his hand, on his other hand. He stumped the rest. It looked like a turtle but there's another sign for that.

Give up?

The rest gave up.


Everyone shook their heads in acknowledgement. Oh, yeah. Got us.

I'm all, wait, wait, wait, you mean, I-G-L-O-O

They were all, pffft, so what, Mr. Irrelevant Precise Spelling. They flatly didn't care how the word is properly spelled. How Shakespearian of me to think that's any importance. And that taught me in that language I can spell things any way that I want. It all works.

</anecdote alert >

edutcher said...

Sixty, it just means you have good taste. Loud, in and of itself, is no substitute for good and a lot of rock, dance, disco, hip hop is ear-splitting.

As a great cavalry tactician reminded us all, "Never apologize, mister. It's a sign of weakness".

Sixty Grit said...

When they first started playing I looked around for an icepick with which to poke holes in the speakers. There is no reason for such aural assault. I wish I had known - I would have brought my Stihl (tm) earmuffs - they work and get the point across that "YOU ARE TOO DARNED LOUD!"

Good stories, Chip. Nothin' but the facts, and Squeemose live in aglus.

AllenS said...

You can't go wrong by spending time outside on a beautiful day.

Sixty Grit said...

Sorry. Yep, that's what my ASL skills are. But I did understand the oddly gesticulating chick in the second video. I missed the portion where she discussed price, however...

Dad Bones said...

Sometimes I think my hearing isn't so bad then I put on my hearing aids and can hear all sorts of birds that were out of range of my high frequency hearing loss. It always surprises me that they were there chirping away all the time and I didn't know it. Like yourself I'm also incapable of conversing with someone when there's competing background noise.

Dad Bones said...

Interesting guitar. Those bass strings sound like a piano.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

There's only on hand signal for dead commies.
Middle finger.

Sixty Grit said...

I KNOW! Let me do the ASL for the funeral, let me! I'm not even Italian but I know a few signs that would work perfectly.

Chip Ahoy said...

I looked at a bunch of videos on YouTube for Sound of Silence in ASL.

I first one was so bogus I couldn't stand it. The others were better. It's a good song for beginners because it's so slow and the lyrics basic.

But since it's poetic you get a fair amount of translating over transliterating. I never did see in any of them a vision softly creeping leaving seeds. They mostly tend to go, okay what does that mean, and then show their understanding of what that means instead.

windbag said...

That was great. It would have been cool if some forest animals gathered to listen to him.

Sixty Grit said...

They were off in the distance saying "THAT'S TOO DARNED LOUD!"