To: The inventors of American Sign Language
Re: Some of your signs
To Whom it May Concern,
Hi. My name is Tracy Clifton. I have been learning ASL for approximately 5 weeks now, in addition to the signs I've learned here and there over the years from some of my friends who know ASL. It's a wonderful language, it really is; highly expressive, deeply emotional and incredibly intuitive. Every week after class, when my brain is crammed with new signs to practice on my bewildered boyfriend and my friends that I'm taking class with, I'm so excited to be learning this language and be able to communicate with the Deaf community and those who know ASL.
I just have one complaint though. A tiny little complaint. More of an observation, really. Um, why is it that you felt it necessary to make some signs so very close to each other, and make some of those signs Very Bad Words? I don't mind, really, because most of ASL is also built around context, but did you have to make "bitch" and "mother" so incredibly similar? And how about "shy" and "whore"? Really guys? Really? You couldn't, like, use a whole different hand for all the bad words in ASL so that no one ever uses them mistakenly?
Because the thing is, Inventors of American Sign Language, I like ice cream. And I have no problem sharing this fact, because, quite honestly, who DOESN'T like ice cream? So when we were doing exercises in last week's ASL class of "I like________" and then we'd fill in the noun, I decided to tell the class that I like ice cream.
Only I didn't tell them I like ice cream, dear Inventors of American Sign Language. Oh no. That would have been too easy, in a class full of high school students and single mothers, to tell them that I liked ice cream.
Nope. I did the sign for "ice cream" just ever so slightly different than the way I learned it in class, because, hey, I'm a human, I can't always remember signs PERFECTLY, and people use their tongues to lick ice cream off their cones so it makes TOTAL sense, right??
Which is how I ended up telling my class in American Sign Language that I like blow-jobs.
Inventors of American Sign Language - you're officially fired.
PS: Speaking of nothing to do with that, The Kid in the Front Row interviewed me as an actress - head on over and check it out :)
Thursday Thirteen on Saturday
5 days ago