Friday, October 14, 2011

The Answers to Life

Ok… they really aren’t the answers to life… but if someone does have those answers, please forward them on to me!! ;)

Sign for “I love you”

I know you all want to know the answers to my little ASL experiment/project that I had to do for class… I had over 21 people email me their answers… it was fun seeing what everyone came up with!  AND I PROMISE, I did not laugh at you!  One of the reasons I did not laugh at you was because you all helped me out so much!! (So thank you!) The other reason I did not laugh is because ASL is not just miming, or gesturing, or trying to make a picture with your hands that looks exactly like what you are talking about.  ASL is an actual language, so I did not expect you all to know what I was signing.

Just like in English, not every symbol (word) is iconic of what it is referring to.  Let’s take the word “cat” for instance… that word is a symbol of the actual furry animal.  The word “cat” looks nothing like the actual thing.  If you said “cat” to someone who didn’t know what a cat was, they wouldn’t be able to guess what it was just based on the sound or look of that word.  That makes it arbitrary.  Words that are more iconic would be an onomatopoeia … words like “boom” or “buzz”… it actually sounds like the noise it’s describing.  confusing yet? ;)

Well it’s the same thing in American Sign Language.  Not every sign looks like what it is referring to.  A person who uses ASL would not be able to understand Chinese Sign Language or Italian Sign Language because of the arbitrariness of language.  Which disproves the myth that ASL is universal!  That’s what this project was all about.  Iconicity and arbitrariness… HERE is a link that describes it in case my description doesn’t make sense … which is very likely ;)

Now for the moment you have all been waiting for… the answers to my project! lol

Sign #1: Baby
Sign #2: Bird
Sign #3: Book
Sign #4: Banana
Sign #5: Cat
Sign #6: Baseball
Sign #7: Swimming
Sign #8: Tree
Sign #9: Stars
Sign #10: School

**The first 8 signs are relatively iconic.  Most people guessed those correctly.

**The last 2 signs are arbitrary (look nothing like what they represent). 2 people got those correct, but they both have a little ASL background! ;)  (Wells L and BDD ;)

So, once again, thank you so much to everyone who helped me finish my project!!  You guys are the best!!  Seriously! :)  In other news… 2 more sleeps before my first full marathon!! haha… yep, had to throw that in there somewhere lol ;)  I’m still popping Tylenol and Vitamin C and drinking plenty of water and Emergen-C to try to kick this cold… My nose/face is feeling a tad better but my cough has gotten way worse… hopefully it gets a little better before Sunday! :)


What did you think about the project if you took part in it?

Now that you know the answers to the signs, does it make sense why that sign represents that object?

Before reading this post, did you think that ASL was universal? (it’s ok to admit it… lots of people think it is!)

Do you have any prior knowledge of ASL? Do you know ASL?

Have you ever tried to communicate with a Deaf person? Stories please! :)


  1. I got some right! Yay!!

    I thought it was really interesting. I think it is amazing how people can communicate this way. I'm not sure I could do that, so kudos to you for taking this class!

  2. I thought the exercise was fun. And I am glad I got some of them correct.

    I did learn the alphabet once a long time ago but because I haven't used it, I only recall a few letters now.

    Good luck with your marathon.

    I have been drinking a tea I made with grated ginger root and lemon, sweetened with honey after I strain it... and it is helping with my sniffles and my BIL says it calms his cough. You may want to try it out.

  3. Elle - Thanks for the tea suggestion! I will have to try it! :)

  4. I learned the alphabet when I was a little girl, and for some weird reason I still remember it. lol I hadn't thought about it in no telling how many years, but I just went through it just now and it's all still there! Funny what sticks around in this ol' head of mine.

    I used to work with a deaf guy, but there was no communication barrier at all. This guy reads lips like a champ!

  5. If I didnt have the experience, I would have not picked stars or school for the last 2 ones.

    If we ever meet, I have to tell you my experience at my first "Silent Weekend"


Thanks for stopping by! I love hearing from you! Have a GREAT day!! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...