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December 16, 2006

Deaf video: the street finds its own uses (again)
Posted by Teresa at 07:46 PM *

Why did it not occur to me that the signing deaf would be using YouTube as a public forum? This is transformational. Many of them aren’t comfortably fluent in written language. For many more, sign is and always will be their first language. YouTube gives them an easy, expressive, unmediated channel for many-to-many communication.

I wandered into this via YouTube’s “related videos” feature, from Eddie Izzard doing standup, to David Armand’s partly-signed Karaoke for the Deaf. The deaf video universe opened out from there. I can’t tell what anyone’s saying, but if I watch closely, I can mostly tell what kind of thing is going on, even if I miss out on the specific content. It’s all the usual stuff. Some segments are clearly labeled, like Letter to Deaf UK raising my concerns about the moderation of the group. Others are more inscrutable. I suspect that Todd Bonheyo Deaf Superdeafy is rapping. It’s stylish, whatever it is.

Here’s what I can make out. Storytelling: An idiot boy and a motorbike; I bought myself a riding lawnmower; Busted! Everyday blogging: Morning news from my mom; The death of Miss Deaf Texas; Deaf Rambo’s College Life; Deaf Rambo in re Lindsey Lohan’s breasts. Tech neep: RSS in ASL. Community announcements: Sujit explains a program called RYLA Deaf Way in ISL. Closer to home: Par-TAY!, San Onofre, August 26th. I’m bringing barbecue. You bring your board. Political blogging: Levinson-Schwarz Duel (Oy Vey!); Richard Roehm outs his speaking abilities. Political organizing: in support of the protests at Gallaudet, 1, 2, 3. (I get the impression that it would be a bad idea to put these people in the same room with Richard Roehm.)

I was struck by one personal essayist, kunosher, who posts as Deaf Angel. His Deaf Angel’s Life has the most words in it, so I know the least about it. If I’m not mistaken, Dude … I’m deaf is about the frustration of being a deaf-mute trying to cope with stupid hearing people who refuse to believe that a person of normal intelligence might be unable to hear or speak. His nearly wordless download … wait … done … happy is about living with a slow internet connection, and his joy when things come through. I’m sure the metaphor is intentional.

Comments on Deaf video: the street finds its own uses (again):
#1 ::: JoshD ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2006, 11:37 PM:

This brings me much joy.

#2 ::: Dawno ::: (view all by) ::: December 16, 2006, 11:57 PM:

My daughter has been studying sign in college and is currently writing a paper about the two Gallaudet demonstrations (one in the past and the recent one)for her English class. I can't wait to show her this post and all the great links. Thank you, Teresa!

#3 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 03:20 AM:

As I recall, sign languages in the UK and USA are different, a bit like languages in China, in both instances written with a common script.

So is YouTube going to do some of the same things that telephones and radio did in China?

#4 ::: ksgreer ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 03:20 AM:

I took a Motorcycle Safety Foundation class with a woman who works as a professional translator; she'd attended a women-only MSF course as translator for a deaf woman who wanted to learn to ride, and her client turned around and convinced her to take the class, too. The (deaf) now-rider showed up on her new Harley to watch us take our class, and meet each of us, while our classmate translated. She did mention she picked a Harley to ride because she can feel the engine's vibration more than any other engine, and as I'd ride by the engine's sound, she rides by the engine's feel.

But of the video listed above, the one called "download... wait... done... happy" moved me the most. Like I found myself telling a friend just now (after watching it), yes, a slow connection is terribly frustrating, but in the end, it's the connection itself that matters.

#5 ::: ctate ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 03:28 AM:

WONDERFUL! I studied sign language and Deaf culture a little in college... this absolutely will to transform that world. Oh my.

Here are a couple of quick book recommendations for people wanting to know more about the social implications of deafness, and about Deaf culture. The books are both fairly old at this point, but in a way that's relevant because they cover a point in time firmly before the internet came into play.

Seeing Voices is by Oliver Sacks, famous for his book Awakenings and the movie made from it. It's a pretty good outsider's overview.

Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture, by Carol Padden and Tom Humphries, is a great look at many aspects of Deaf culture, written from the inside. Stories, jokes, memories... intimate and powerful.

#6 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 07:40 AM:

You inspired me to search for instances of semaphore communication but found only this young lady and these pirates. Very cute...but I want more.

#7 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 09:29 AM:

Dave Bell #3: You're right. American Sign Language is based on a French model, British is not.

#8 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 09:40 AM:

Neat!

One thing I've always wondered is why there isn't a direct written form of sign language - something like the alphabet, but encoding the various aspects of a sign for a word, rather than sounds.

Using written English when you think in sign makes little sense - it winds up like Chinese, where you basically have to remember a symbol for each word, only without the Chinese benefit of having the symbols related to the meaning of the word.

#9 ::: CecilyS ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 09:46 AM:

#3 Dave Bell- Signed Languages vary massively from culture to culture. Chinese Signed Language vs. British Sign vs. French Sign Language are as different as thier spoken languages are. However, American Signed Lanuage and French Sign share a common root, but in this day and age no longer resemble eachother enough that signing between and American and a Frenchman would be understandable. I recently met a group of visiting Deaf Students from France who were traveling around to Gallaudet, The American School for the Deaf, and I believe NYC as well. The thrashing of languages between us was quite amazing.

There are many D/deaf bloggers who are using You Tube, and the ease of direct communication is not only freeing for many, but shows the intense link that people who are Deaf and hard of hearing *must* keep with technology in order to stay connected to each other. It is a difficult and challenging place to be in, as the expenses for purchasing and maintaining hearing aides and other devices are often prohibitvely expensive. On top of that, keeping up with changes in TTY technology, video relay devices, Sidekicks and other messaging devices can be utterly overwhelming. The challengees to stay connected to your friends and to those you need to communicate with (hearing doctors, co-workers, etc) abound.

I am currently in an ASL Lingustics and ASL-English Interpreter program and really enjoy seeing the young D/deaf students out there using You Tube to stay connected. It surprised me that many of my older professors did not know of this communication "revolution", but were excited to check it out. FYI there are also Deaf Bloggers out there who keeping English blogs as well.

#10 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 10:22 AM:

Ursual L said (#8):
Using written English when you think in sign makes little sense - it winds up like Chinese, where you basically have to remember a symbol for each word, only without the Chinese benefit of having the symbols related to the meaning of the word.

It's essentially an act of translation, isn't? Writing down a sign-language (e.g., ASL) sentence in English is a similar problem to writing down a French or Russian or Japanese sentence in English: you have to translate it into English first.

#11 ::: Richard Parker ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 10:59 AM:

#8: One thing I've always wondered is why there isn't a direct written form of sign language - something like the alphabet, but encoding the various aspects of a sign for a word, rather than sounds.

There is! It's called SignWriting. It's a relatively new development, but surprising popular for such things as student newsletters. For more about SignWriting, see signwriting.org.

#12 ::: Cassie ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 11:22 AM:

I've sometimes thought sign language would be easier if it were, for lack of a better word, phonetic-- if there were some way to convert the sounds of language into gesture rather than the words and meanings. It would be impractical, because hands and eyes don't move as quickly as tongues and lips, but since written language often has a phonetic component, it might be easier to convert. Possibly between languages, too, if the signs were worldwide.

I know it's impractical and that I don't understand all of why it's impractical, but it would be fun to play with.

#13 ::: Jennifer Barber ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 11:27 AM:

Speaking of the different sign languages....

When I was in the USSR back in 1991, our group had a long enough connection between flights at one point that rather than making 30 travel-weary teenagers spend several hours at the airport we all trekked into town to spend them sitting in the lobby of a hotel we'd stayed at earlier in the trip. Eventually few of us left the others to guard our luggage and went to a little park-like space next door with someone's frisbee. At some point a couple of Russians started playing with us.

One of our trip leaders noticed that one of the Russians was deaf, and went over and started signing to him. Oddly enough, the Russian knew ASL--either that, or Russian sign language is close enough to be mutually intelligible. Things only fell apart when our guy started trying to spell his name; not surprisingly, the Russian didn't understand the American finger alphabet. I've always wished I had thought to write Mike's name in the dirt for him, since I already knew Cyrillic at the time.....

That was definitely one of the coolest experiences I had on that trip, for being so completely unexpected.

Sign has always been on my list of languages I'd love to learn.

#14 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 12:31 PM:

Cassie (12): First, because the people who use sign don't primarily experience language phonetically. The various signing systems weren't designed from scratch; rather, they grew up out of homebrewed signing used by the deaf and their families. As far as I know, no signing system is phonetic. You have to figure that what they use is what works for them. Second, because ASL (to take one example) isn't a signed version of American English; it's a separate language with its own syntax and grammar. Third, which phonetic American English? In ASL as she is spoke, Down East, Brooklyn, Mississippi, Fargo, West Virginia, Boston, and Delmarva are all just places to be from, not intractably different phonetic versions of a single language whose written version already doesn't match any of them.

#15 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 12:44 PM:

In furtherance of the reason why Cassie's question at #12 is asking for the wrong things: to impose syllabation/phonetic structure on ASL, or other deaf language, is a change of the same degree as to say French would be improved if it no longer bothered with those annoying gendered nouns.

#16 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 12:47 PM:

I wonder how one would write poetry in sign? Not freeform, but structured verse? Could you have rhymes between similar gestures? Metre in the rhythm of the movement?

(I'm sure someone is already doing this. I just don't know who, or how, or where it's gone.)

#17 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 01:19 PM:

JESR (15): I'm not sure that's a big enough change. I'd compare it to swapping Modern English, with its loose syntax and obviously superfluous vocabulary, for the logic and structure of Latin.

abi (16), I have no idea whatsoever.

#18 ::: neotoma ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 01:29 PM:

There are ABC stories. Not rhymes or meter, but they're structured -- the storyteller uses the manual alphabet, in order, to tell a story.

#19 ::: ctate ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 01:39 PM:

Teresa (#14), it's a bit off the mark to assert that ASL is not "phonetic." Superficially it's obvious -- there are no sounds! -- but grammatically it's a more complex situation. The groundbreaking work here was done in the late 1950s by William Stokoe. He argued persuasively first that ASL is neither pantomime nor a gestural analog of English, and furthermore ASL has in some way all of the classic grammatical features of spoken languages: "phonemes," morphemes, the whole shebang.

There are regional dialects and "accents" in ASL, too.

I'm excited to hear that there might be a solid written ASL representation now. When I was studying this stuff briefly around 1990, there were a number of competing schemes, none of which were very good. The usual problem was trying to invent a notation more like choreographic record than like written language: making the symbols on the page resemble the gesture. Linguistically this is silly: the letter 'F' in no way resembles (or needs to resemble) the corresponding sound!

SignWriting (Richard #11) looks to my eye a bit too choreographic, although it also seems basically syllabic; this feels like the right approach to me. It also occurs to me that trying to represent the spatial classifier mechanism might be a core issue demanding at least some choreographic annotation, so maybe SignWriting really will catch on. I hope so; writing is the only really effective way to pass around knowledge.

#20 ::: JESR ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 01:43 PM:

Teresa, you're right about degree (I was tempted to say "right as usual, Your Majesty" being in a Mr. Rogers kind of mood this morning); I was mostly trying to get to the most common complaint about learning a new language. People learning gendered languages complain about gender first; people learning ASL complain about lack of phonetic equivalents first, not understanding that the defining quality of ASL is that it is not based in the hearing world.

#21 ::: Gigi Rose ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 01:44 PM:

I went to the Ohio Valley Filk Fest in 2005 with Elise and we got to enjoy the most delightful woman signing with all the filk performers. (I wish I could remember her name.) It was like watching a dance. I love the sign for "stars".

In high school I went to a school that integrated deaf students into some hearing classes and therefore I had a couple of friends who were deaf. We did a lot of finger signing across the room. The Home Econ. teacher was clueless but the P.E. teacher got right into it. I never learned but a couple of words but I still enjoy watching it. Maybe I'll have a deaf friend one day and find a reason to pick it back up. My niece is taking ASL in college and has several deaf friends and she will surely appreciate this link.

#22 ::: Peter Erwin ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 02:04 PM:

Teresa (#17): Modern English has a "loose syntax" compared to Latin?

(I'd argue it's the other way around: Latin had more flexibility with regard to syntax than English, because English depends so much on word order to determine the meaning, while Latin is able to put a lot of the meaning into inflection.)

#23 ::: broundy ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 02:09 PM:

abi (16): A few minutes of googling turns of a couple of discussion of ASL poetry - this page includes a discussion of rhyme, meter, and modifying signs in ASL poems.

I couldn't find any videos of pure ASL poetry in action, but I did discover this Def/ Deaf Poetry Jam segment that I remember seeing once - it may be more accessible to hearing viewers.

#24 ::: Cassie ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 03:31 PM:

Thank you, Teresa and JESR; I needed something concrete to bash the question with. It's one thing to know an idea doesn't make sense and is in fact answering the wrong question entirely, and another to follow it through until it hits a wall. Doesn't mean my brain is done with it, but next time the issue pops up, it won't be the same flavor of not-making-sense.

There was a Super Bowl some years ago where the anthem was sung (or played, I don't remember) and there was a sign-language chorus. All that stayed with me was the rocket's-red-glare, three firework bursts going up.

#25 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 03:51 PM:

broundy @23

I was going to Google and report, but I had kids to put to bed. That first link is amazing, both for its clarity and detail, and for the feeling that I will never really understand what it's talking about unless I learn ASL.

It reminds me of nothing so much as the difference between reading Homer in translation (even a good translation, like Lattimore) and reading him in the original Greek. Sometimes the best you can do for a non-speaker is to flag that they will not really understand what's going on.

This must be an exciting time to be a deaf poet, analagous to the advent of literacy or affordable books. All of a sudden a form which was always only accessible in person is available, easily and cheaply, to everyone who wants to see it.

I wonder what poetry was lost to time, though, or carried through the equivalent of an oral tradition.

#26 ::: Shem ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 03:59 PM:

On the subject of poetry in ASL: I once saw a man named Eric Malzkuhn -- who usually went by "Malz" -- perform "Jabberwocky" and some other poems in ASL when I was an English student at Gallaudet. (Which is rather like being an oceanography student in Tibet, but never mind that.) Malz was fairly well-known in the deaf community, and I'm sure there must be video of him somewhere.

#27 ::: Mary Aileen Buss ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 05:05 PM:

Shem (26), that ASL Jabberwocky has come up here before. Video is available, but I'm not sure if it's online or only in hardcopy. A search for those earlier posts should bring up links.

--Mary Aileen

#28 ::: Older ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 05:40 PM:

When I was young I was often deaf, due to -- ear infections? -- I don't actually know why. But it persisted into my early adulthood. My parents saw no need for me to learn sign, since it was an intermittent condition, but I became a pretty good lip-reader.

During one of my last deaf episodes, I took my young son to a model shop, because he wanted a model of a mail truck. When I said to the clerk, "Please face me when you speak, because I can't hear you," he threw us out of the store! Saying "We don't want your kind of business," and leaving me to wonder what kind of business that was exactly. The kind where they give my kid a model, and I give them money? wtf??

There is still huge prejudice against the handicapped -- witness the current flap over making the money blind-friendly (which would be so easy, and would not necessitate any change in bill-changing machinery).

#29 ::: Gigi Rose ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 06:11 PM:

Older: OMG, he threw you out of the store! I'm shocked, appalled and wondering; how many years ago was this?

(Prejudice is everywhere.) Why I called myself handicapped the other day and was corrected and chastised. I'm apparently disabled, or not even that, I'm differently-abled. I know political correctness has been a topic on this forum many times, but I recently learned that handicapped refers to a time when the crippled would hold out their caps begging… So take care when & where you use that word.

And I like the blind modification for money. It would be useful for all. I could pull out the correct amount of money without folks seeing how much money is actually in my purse.

#30 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 06:17 PM:

Used signing (just the alphabet) as an alternative to passing paper notes in high school honors English class back in the day; the teacher learned it to keep up with us.

There was a two-man comedy team, whose names I cannot recall, who did a skit where one guy did a standard speaking comedy act, and his partner who was supposed to be translating the act into ASL instead signed to the audience mostly gossiping about things like baseball scores and making fun of the first comedian. The ASL part was subtitled, and it was hilarious.

#31 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 06:24 PM:

Gak! Bleargh! "Differently-abled" is a hideous, despicably condescending euphemism. Now I'm going to have to go out and whack some random "samely-abled" jerk with my cane, to restore balance to the universe.

#32 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 07:00 PM:

Gigi (20):

(Prejudice is everywhere.) Why I called myself handicapped the other day and was corrected and chastised. I'm apparently disabled, or not even that, I'm differently-abled. I know political correctness has been a topic on this forum many times, but I recently learned that handicapped refers to a time when the crippled would hold out their caps begging ... So take care when & where you use that word.
Barf me out! No way am I calling myself "differently abled". Being unable to hear many things others take for granted, or being plagued with semi-permanent sleepiness and fatigue, is not being "differently abled"; it's a disability. Hell, it's a downright handicap.

Gigi, you have been imposed on.

Furthermore, that is not the etymology of "handicapped". For the real version, see the Online Etymology Dictionary, the Phrase Finder, and Snopes.com, all of which agree on a completely different etymology.

There. Now you have some ammo for the next time this comes up. Hit 'em hard.

To me, being forced to use some nicey-nice euphemism implies that there's something so horrible (not to mention unusual) about being handicapped or disabled that we can't even say the word. In my experience, people who take that attitude usually aren't disabled. They're just morbidly oversensitive about the subject -- which is something the handicapped can't afford to be.

I figure that if I'm in a conversation with someone like that, such that one or the other of us is bound to be made uncomfortable by the language used, I'd lots rather it be them.

#33 ::: Ann Rose ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 08:01 PM:

Teresa -- You're already probably hip to it, but Berkeley poet/performance artist Cheryl Marie Wade wrote a take-no-prisoners poem "I Am Not One of The" in which she skewers all of the nicey-nice PC terms which were rampant back in the 80's and early 90's. Essayist Nancy Mairs takes it on in a slightly different way in "On Being a Cripple," which is endlessly anthologized for introductory writing readers. A group of Modern Language Association types is also slated to sit down and have at the language of disability, so there is, in some circles, a change on its way.

#34 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 09:19 PM:

The signwriting looks interesting.

Looking at it, the one drawback I see is that it isn't in a form that lends itself to smooth, fluent writing. The scale of different words seems to wind up different sizes, and there is a lot of little details which would be time consuming to work.

One thing that seems pretty universal in written languages is that they tend to evolve towards using symbols of a fairly consistent size arranged in rows or columns, and designed in such a way that the hand can move from one end of the row to another at a fairly smooth rate.

Although if signwriting was taught with some consistency among deaf people, I suspect it would evolve into a smoother writing system than what I see on the various websites.

#35 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 10:26 PM:

There was a two-man comedy team, whose names I cannot recall, who did a skit where one guy did a standard speaking comedy act, and his partner who was supposed to be translating the act into ASL instead signed to the audience mostly gossiping about things like baseball scores and making fun of the first comedian. The ASL part was subtitled, and it was hilarious.

I remember hearing about Al Franken speaking at some event where he cracked up the sign-language interpreter by saying "I heard Al Franken make fun of deaf people backstage. Let's kill him."

#36 ::: adamsj ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 10:39 PM:

I wonder if he got the idea from Ray Charles' appearance on Saturday Night Live? That's still one of my favorite episodes. I also wonder if Dave Chappelle extrapolated from that when he had that woman sing his lines for him.

#37 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 10:48 PM:

Ann Rose@#33:
A group of Modern Language Association types is also slated to sit down and have at the language of disability

Oh, lord. Don't the disabled have enough problems already?

#38 ::: Bruce E. Durocher II ::: (view all by) ::: December 17, 2006, 11:23 PM:

Teresa:

Barf me out! No way am I calling myself "differently abled". Being unable to hear many things others take for granted, or being plagued with semi-permanent sleepiness and fatigue, is not being "differently abled"; it's a disability. Hell, it's a downright handicap.

Brings to mind an account I heard of the time that John Callahan was on a local talk show where the host called him "physically challenged." He is supposed to have looked at the host and semi-snarled something along the lines of "You think being a quadriplegic is a challenge? You think I chose to become paralyzed so I could overcome this? You're crazy!"

#39 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 12:47 AM:

Amen.

People who want to act like disabilities aren't really a problem should start by hiring the handicapped, not policing their language.

#41 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 02:43 AM:

I think it was Mad TV that coined (or at least heavily used) the term "handicapable". I don't know if anyone ever used that word in a serious context - I hope not!

I never realized that deaf people could have problems with written English - now I think I understand the recent issues at Gallaudet a little better.

ksgreer @ 4 - That's an interesting point about feeling the engine on a bike when you can't hear it. I guess I'd take a little issue with it though, since every bike I've ever ridden has been pretty clear on where it was in its power band by feel, although some are clearer than others. My current bike, a BMW K75, whirrs smoothly at a happy RPM, but buzzes when it's spinning too fast. Lugging is pretty clear, too. When I ride, I use earplugs, which don't totally obscure engine noise, but on the rare occasions when I forget my earplugs, I don't feel that I know anything more about what the bike is doing. The only thing I'd be wary of would be not being able to hear the warning indicator on the brakes - I hope she checks them visually on a regular basis.

#42 ::: Paul ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 07:54 AM:

I'm looking at learning BSL next year, so this is a nice co-incidence. I'll go and look at those with interest; even if it's the wrong language it could be handy. Thanks Teresa. :-)

(Oh, and in reference to #14, BSL also has its own syntax and grammar.)

#43 ::: RichM ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 08:58 AM:

Oh, that's just pretend semaphore, not what a real sema is phore.

#44 ::: Jon Lennox ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 09:48 AM:

Gigi Rose @ #21 : the woman who signs the OVFF concerts is Judi Miller, who won OVFF's Pegasus award for Best Performer this year. She's amazingly talented.

#45 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 10:46 AM:

Yes, the Monty Python is fake semaphore. And their Aldiss Lamp and telegraph morse is just random noise too.

#46 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 10:50 AM:

The thing that fascinates me about sign translators is that the can't be deaf. I can't think of any other case where the person doing the translating has to be a member of the out-group.

There's a school for the deaf in the neighborhood where my dad lives. At the coffeeshop there, the staff never gets offended if you don't look up when they ask if you're ready to order; they're used to it.

#47 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:11 AM:

#46, Carrie: Good grief, you're right. I hadn't thought of it, but it's a standard practice in translating (i.e. written language) that one translates into one's native language, never into one's second. I don't think it's a requirement in interpreting (i.e. spoken language) but I believe it's preferred.

#48 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:13 AM:

#21, Gigi Rose: The OVFF signer is Judi Miller. She won the Pegasus Award for "Best Performer" this year.

As ConChair, I had the pleasure of being one of the presenters at the award ceremony, and I will never forget Judi's reaction to winning.

#49 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:19 AM:

TexAnne @ 47: it's a standard practice in translating (i.e. written language) that one translates into one's native language

Which pretty much leaves limits the ideal population to the hearing children of deaf parents. I wonder how common a profile this is for sign language interpreters.

Another random thought - I wonder if the omnipresence of TV closed captioning has reduced difficulties with written English among the deaf. After all, it's hard to escape TV.

#50 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:32 AM:

Larry Brennan @ 49

Given that closed captioning depends on people transcribing what they're hearing, some of the captioning is problematic. (I'm thinking here of some of the captions I've seen recently, where one or another word would look like a near-random collection of letters, as well as the phonetic stuff like 'Joseph Gerbils'.)

#51 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:35 AM:

PJ Evans - That's clearly true of live closed captioning, especially the news and sporting events. I was thinking of dramatic presentations which have developed a set of conventions for indicating who's speaking and what sort of relevant sounds are happening.

#52 ::: Rob Rusick ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:35 AM:

Larry Brennan @49: [..] I wonder if the omnipresence of TV closed captioning has reduced difficulties with written English among the deaf. After all, it's hard to escape TV.

Never thought of it, but wouldn't the 'news crawl' (that's standard now on news shows) get in the way of closed captioning? I wish there was an option to turn the news crawl off...

#53 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:41 AM:

Rob - Actually, it's the CC that gets in the way of the news crawl because most stations are too stupid to put the captions on the foreheads of the pretty boys and girls who read the news on TV. And yes, I'd like to be able to banish the crawl, too.

#54 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 11:44 AM:

Larry @ 51

Um, I'd have to ask someone who knows more than I do. Although I know sign uses farther-from-body to indicate farther away (in distance or time), or other people, and first-that-then-that-other gets done with two locations 'out there'.

#55 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 12:03 PM:

Gigi Rose @ 21 - Well, both Jon Lennox and Lori Coulson beat me to ID'ing Judi Miller, but I don't think either mentioned that she was this year's Listener GoH at OVFF. Watching her translate Tom Smith is a hoot; must be a real workout for her too.

#56 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 01:41 PM:

Does anyone know who signs the Hugo Awards ceremony? I love watching that -- you pick up such interesting specialized vocabulary.

#57 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 03:06 PM:

When I was 12, the touring company of the National Theatre of the Deaf brought their show Ophelia to the local university. It was a wonderful, engrossing production taken simply as a piece of theatre, and was also fascinating for how they addressed some of the technical issues. For instance, when they needed a storm, rather than mounting a thundersheet backstage and shaking it for the noise, they mounted a highly-polished thundersheet on stage, in front and to one side of the proscenium arch. Shaking it yielded the usual noise as well as jaggedy, quickly-moving reflections on all the surfaces of the auditorium. Very lightning-like, indeed.

I also liked that they had two speaking interpreters for us hearies who otherwise might have missed a lot.

The NTD is high on my list of "beg, borrow, or scrounge money for a ticket if they come through town — DO NOT MISS."

#58 ::: Lis Riba ::: (view all by) ::: December 18, 2006, 09:32 PM:

Another random thought - I wonder if the omnipresence of TV closed captioning has reduced difficulties with written English among the deaf. After all, it's hard to escape TV.

I don't know about that, but I've heard anecdotally that it's got a strong secondary market among immigrants trying to learn English.

#59 ::: cd ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 04:53 AM:

I saw, a while back, a guy using a cellphone with video phone capacity to have a conversation in sign. I thought it was pretty nifty.

#60 ::: individualfrog ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 07:34 AM:

When I lived in New York it was a pleasure to listen to all the languages you can hear without even trying on the subway or walking down the street. I felt a bit like that the other day here in Tokyo (where languages other than Japanese are pretty rare) when a trio of women were having a conversation in, I presume, Japanese Sign Language on the subway.

If you've ever seen any Japanese TV you've probably noticed that non-dramatic programs usually have (sometimes sporadic) subtitles, in Japanese, usually to underscore jokes or surprises, I guess. It's very helpful for learning to read, but I do find that now I tend to just read instead of listening, because my reading is far ahead of my listening skill. Which is too bad.

#61 ::: colin roald ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 09:48 AM:

Many of them aren’t comfortably fluent in written language.

This is strange and surprising to me. I guess naively I would have assumed that was the one area of communication where a deaf person would have a level playing field. They may not be learning English as their first language, but fluent bilinguality is not so rare or difficult for your random Dutchman. Is it so great a handicap not to be able to map written language onto phonemes?

Another thought prompted by this: is there a subculture of podcasts for blind people?

Another random thought: does it mean that deafness more isolating than blindness, that we have a Deaf subculture but not a Blind one?

Many years ago I dated a sign-language interpreter for a while. I'm not sure why she decided to learn to sign (I'm pretty sure it wasn't a deaf person in the family), but the reason she kept doing it was that she really liked Deaf culture.

#62 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 10:08 AM:

does it mean that deafness more isolating than blindness, that we have a Deaf subculture but not a Blind one?

I think it's a matter of linguistic isolation. Blind people are perfectly capable of learning whatever language is spoken around them. Deaf people have a very hard time with it if they can do it at all (I imagine tonal languages must be close to impossible to lip-read).

Having a language as small as Sign would normally be a recipe for language extinction; the only reason it doesn't work that way is that Sign can't be dispensed with (and I suspect it will become extinct, except for specialists and language geeks, if all the causes of deafness become fixable). But the mere fact that Sign is a minority language means that the population that speaks it is isolated.

#63 ::: Tech Bee ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 10:33 AM:

Fascinating, and very useful

#64 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 11:34 AM:

Lis Riba @ 58 - I do the same when I'm lucky enough to put my hands on a DVD with German subtitles. Seeing the written words along with the spoken dialog really helps me match written words with how people really say and use them.

#65 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 12:15 PM:

Carrie S @ 62: I imagine tonal languages must be close to impossible to lip-read

UC Irvine researchers just published a paper on this subject: "Mandarin language is music to the brain". They were looking specifically at cochlear implants, but it must be even more the case for lip-reading.

#66 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 01:03 PM:

Lip-reading actually requires a certain amount of hearing. My niece-in-law (the lawyer) is profoundly deaf and doesn't lipread.

#67 ::: Shem ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 01:12 PM:

Learning any language can be difficult for the deaf, and especially so for those who were born deaf or lost their hearing before they learned to speak. But there's also a certain cultural resistance. Deaf culture puts heavy emphasis on ASL as our native, natural language, all that we should ideally need; English is something you learn only because, well, you have to.

I think some of the coolness toward English comes from the mainstreaming days of the '70s, when educators denigrated ASL in favor of English instruction, with generally poor results. (I was mainstreamed, and I turned out well, if I do say so myself -- but I was lucky in many respects.)

#68 ::: MWT ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 04:39 PM:

I know this is going to sound like a completely naive, ignoramus question ... but when it comes to things in writing, do the deaf find Chinese and visual-symbol-based written languages easier to learn than phonetic-alphabet ones like English?

Also, I've been watching a lot of the youtube videos with fascination. I've noticed that in a lot of them, there are mouth and tongue movements involved with the signs too. Are those parts of the signs or do they count as facial expressions?

#69 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 04:55 PM:

The facial expressions are important in sign, I understand. It's as much acting as speech, very expressive, probably more so than English (for those of us who aren't naturally handwavers, anyway!).

#70 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 05:37 PM:

Lon Chaney's expressive acting style might well have come from both his parents being deaf.

We had a bright employee once who was - completely? profoundly? - deaf. He was relating a funny story about having worked on a construction site in Missouri where the noise levels made hiring deaf workers an asset. Someone moved a rock and uncovered [something] that freaked everyone out, as there was no way it could have been there. He painstakingly spelled out c,a,r,b and acted it out by linking his thumbs and making sideways twitching motions. A crab. He had never heard the word, and very likely never read it.

I got his caseworker to show me the signing for "very good work", for which "work" is lightly clenched fists, with the wrist of one hand tapping on the other. It was important that the palms be down, as if they are facing each other, it would mean masturbating.

#71 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 05:41 PM:

Last sentence would have been more clear:

It was important that the palms be down. If the hands were rotated so that the thumbs were on top...

#72 ::: Mnpnt ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 06:55 PM:

Hrly dscssn wrthy d Dbt Tnh. Yr slppry slp s shrnkng. Ths scnts rls n dbt. Yr lck f fcts dflt yr crdblty.

#73 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 07:17 PM:

RE #72, how do you sign "WTF?"

#74 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 07:23 PM:

re 72:

harley a discussion? no, that was the last chaucer thread. or were you referring to the discussion earlier about which motorcycles are better for deaf people?

& isn't a smaller slippery slope less dangerous than a larger one?

#75 ::: Aquila ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 07:28 PM:

Hmm, maybe this would be a way:

WTF

And looking that up made me realise how very different the ASL and New Zealand Sign Language manual alphabets are. The words must be even more so!

#76 ::: Aquila ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 08:17 PM:

Of course acronyms aren't really faster if words are one or two actions each, and the initial letter is less important to the words without the sound cue, so there are probably very servicable "the fuck!?!" signs in existence that are one or two signs long. But maybe the above will serve for those of us who are sign illiterate.

#77 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 09:36 PM:

Disemvowelling 72 only made it *more* legible.

#78 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: December 19, 2006, 09:56 PM:

Observe the mechanical troll. Creeps devise 'bots that flame threads at which they have never been present at all, just so that they can hug themselves with the glee that comes of knowing that they're annoying someone even though they will never know who it is.

Monopoly, sociopathy. Both games, right?

#79 ::: Neil Willcox ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2006, 09:40 AM:

Every now and again, late at night, while flicking through the music channels on TV* I've come across songs being signed to. Whoever's doing it dances along with the song AND the signs, which is fascinating in a dance-from-a-foreign-culture-yet-perfectly-attuned-to-the-music kind of way.


* No, I don't know why I don't listen to the radio late at night.

#80 ::: Jesse the K ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2006, 02:55 PM:

As a former ASL interpreter, gotta put my oar in.

46. Deaf people can & do work in interpreting. Not only as teachers and evaluators, but also as Certified Deaf Interpreters. CDIs can translate between MCEs* and the idiosyncratic sign language of someone who only learned any language late in life, or who've experienced a stroke or other cognitive impairment. Tons more information on interpreting is available from the US-based Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

*Manual Codes for English are copyrighted schemes that make oral English visible: there are markers for gerund and past tense forms, for example.

66. Sadly most educators correlate lip reading skill with intelligence and capability. The truth is it's a total crap shoot. Only 35-40% of English sounds are distinguishable on the lips in the first place, and the more one knows about context the better their chances. But I know people who have been profoundly deaf their whole lives, and are expert lip readers. A lovely book on this topic is Henry Kisor's What's That Pig Outdoors?. On the other hand, I know an English teacher who lost her hearing in her late 20s and can't lipread at all.

69. Facial expressions are a crucial part of ASL's vocabulary, grammar and syntax. Unlike English, where sentences are chock full of pronouns hammering home who did what to whom, in ASL the players are introduced once, and then referenced by eye gaze and directionality of sign. Lip squeeze can be an adverb; sticking out the tongue can indicate present progressive; brow raise plus backward head tilt changes a statement to a question. Brow raise without head tilt indicates "what I'm signing now is topic, comment will come later." Puffing out a cheek can mean "menstrual period."

ASL is a combination of hand shape, orientation, motion, body shift, head position, facial markers. This means a lot of info can be conveyed simultaneously, so that the same idea can go from one person to another at around the same speed in ASL and spoken English (even though ASL movements are a lot larger than the spoken language emission system).

As is often the case, disability is the mother of creativity & necessity. A.G.Bell was trying to make hearing aids when he came up with the telephone (creating a huge barrier for deaf people). Seventy years later three deaf scientists returned the favor, when they invented the modem to create accessible text-based phones for deaf people.

Broadband and cheap webcams have finally made the wonders of instant telecommunication possible via sign language. There are now Video Relay Services, which enable a hearing interpreter to be telepresent -- a huge improvement over trying to find an ASL interpreter in a rural area for a medical emergency.

I'm stopping now, I promise.

#81 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2006, 03:12 PM:

Jesse: No, please, do go on. How did you become an interpreter?

#82 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2006, 07:09 PM:

Thanks for all this. Made my week (at the very least).

And yes, Jesse, please do go on. Uninformed people wants to know.

#83 ::: MWT ::: (view all by) ::: December 20, 2006, 09:20 PM:

Neil Willcox said: Every now and again, late at night, while flicking through the music channels on TV* I've come across songs being signed to. Whoever's doing it dances along with the song AND the signs, which is fascinating in a dance-from-a-foreign-culture-yet-perfectly-attuned-to-the-music kind of way.

I find the sign interpretations of songs to be fascinating. Here's some from youtube:

Son of a Preacher Man

The Rose

Wind Beneath My Wings

And now that I know they're also on tv, I might have to turn my tv on more often. ;)

#84 ::: Jesse the K ::: (view all by) ::: December 21, 2006, 12:19 PM:

In 1988, affordable video was starting to having an enormous impact by permitting national audiences for formerly regional sign dialects. The "Deaf President Now" campaign was a watershed in terms of Deaf Pride and attitudes about hearing people. That was the year I had to quit interpreting due to disability (first and foremost, trouble making short-term memories, a key skill for simultaneously interpreting!)

All this to say that I'm woefully out of date: don't take my word for much on the topic. You can spend many happy hours learning about deaf issues, culture, language, cochlear implants, families, ad astra at Jamie Berke's Deafness site at About.com

I'll leave you with a few nuggets regarding WTF and abbreviations.

Deaf clubs were happy to salvage the one-ton monster Teletypes as they became surplus in the 60s and 70s. Text "phone calls" have always included telegraphic abbreviations, which are also common in ASL. On the TTY, turn taking is mediated by "GA" = go ahead; the conversation ends when "GA or SK" = "Go ahead or stop keying?" is answered by "SKSKSK".

When I learned the sign for dog, I remembered it as "snapping fingers, patting thigh": the second finger snaps down to the palm against the thumb as the hand moves down to pat the thigh. One of my older Deaf teachers explained that this was actually a "loan sign": a lexical item that began as a fingerspelled English word and then was polished over time to look right as a sign. This multiframe ASL Dictionary site has great video & explanations.

Another ASL dictionary shows that no good started life as fingerspelled initials N-G. One could interpret that sign as "forget about it" or "busted [not working]" or "unsatisfactory."

Manual Codes for English change ASL handshapes to initial English letters to distinguish English vocabulary which doesn't map 1-to-1 with ASL lexemes. There's an ASL sign that means "group of people": In MCE signing it can be made with C handshapes for "class," D for "department," with W changing to S for "workshop." S for "seminar" etc. If that distinction is important in ASL, one might sign "group of people" in a part of the signing space, fingerspell the exact name in that space, and reference it later with a point or eye gaze.

Laurent Clerc, the Deaf "Father of ASL", brought some initialized French signs to America in the 19th century. The ASL for "seek out, search for, look for, investigate" uses a C handshape (from cherchez) and except in MCE, one is taught never to follow it with the sign for "for." Here's where the non-manual elements of ASL are so important: facial expression, head tilt and eye gaze, style of sign repetition, tongue thrust can turn that single sign into the sentence "No, she was endlessly searching for it with no success."

How I got interested: I read Joanne Greenberg's fabulous novel In This Sign and was enchanted by her evocation of the deep meaning of ASL in deaf people's lives. I leapt at the chance to take ASL classes when they were available to me. It was a sad commentary on the desperate need for interpreters that I'd only had four years of once-weekly classes, plus once-a-week interactions with deaf folks when I was enlisted as a baby interpreter by one of my Deaf teachers. It was the hardest and most challenging job I've ever done -- I loved it.

#85 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: December 23, 2006, 07:40 AM:

Jesse the K, #84:

Thanks a lot for the links and shared memories.

#86 ::: Grant W Laird Jr. ::: (view all by) ::: December 24, 2006, 11:26 PM:

There's bunch more at www.deafjoke.tv

#88 ::: Dominic MacNeill ::: (view all by) ::: January 19, 2007, 08:26 PM:

I am Dominic, a deaf 15 year old living in Scotland, i was born deaf and raised deaf. Now I think you guys would be wondering 'how did this boy have excellent English if he's deaf?' and I understand that many deaf people have problems with written English, I know plenty of people with that problem. However with meself, my first language is BSL (British Sign Language) and my family is a hearing family, so they had to learn sign language to give me the best possible start and at the same time I read a lot of books to get the best out of the English language written and read.

I did not have very good spoken English and hearing capacity until I was 10 when I dramatically improved, along with my huge abiltiy of written English, it guaranteed a easy way to learn to speak (I also had speech and language therapy, it was focused on my listening and speaking because my grammar is perfect (well maybe not)).

I am currently enrolled in Mary Hare School for the deaf which is a oral-educated, boarding school in England. There there is a huge bilingual community among the deaf as we know how to communicate through many different means, we know ASL, BSL (they both are quite similar, not different as some people might think). I am studying French which is quite different from English in the imperfect tense, the avoir and etre etc. but in the bilingual sense there is not a problem really with a french deaf person and a british deaf person, every year there is a french group of deaf students who visit Mary Hare, the school pupils communicate to them through mostly signed communication but if there is a sign that I or that person doesn't understand we would just write it down because we would definitely know french or english.

Now I hear very well and I am very bilingual able in spoken, written English and BSL, the alphabet in ASL and IrishSL and all aspects of French, even I can speak clearly words that have accents all over the place.
I was given the best chance in life as a deaf person and I am lucky but I can't take my deafness or how lucky I am for granted because I know (and I'm sure that people like you reading this post, know) that it all depends on how the deaf person is given the best chance in life to learn and communicate whatever the language or sign language it is. It doensn't matter about all that rubbish on phoenics or synaxs or whatever because no one should forget that Communication started and is based on facial expressions, body language and hand signals before Man learned to use vocal chords to make sounds. I love languages and I'm lucky that languages are here but I know that everyone should always use simple communication whenever there is a breakdown in complex communication.

So what's the fuss about discrimination against deaf people?

#90 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2007, 12:51 AM:

All gone now. Just some guy who got smacked on the head by the fairies.

#91 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2007, 01:12 AM:

I should say that "guy hit on the head by the fairies" does not refer to Dominic MacNeill.

Dominic, the fact that you've done a brilliant job of coping with your deafness (which you have) doesn't mean that other deaf people don't get a raw deal. You seem to be pretty clear on that point, though, so I won't belabor it.

What do you think made the difference? Was it early communications learning, or something else?

#92 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: January 29, 2007, 01:24 AM:

Speaking of this, have you seen "In My Language", the YouTube video made by a non-verbal autistic about the way she interacts with her environment? She's also got a blog.

#93 ::: allen christie ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 06:50 PM:

wot da fuk niga

#96 ::: allen christie ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 06:58 PM:

COASTAL MOTHA FUKA & UR GAY

& FUK URUN TAHA

#97 ::: allen christie ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 06:58 PM:

COASTAL MOTHA FUKA & UR GAY

& FUK URU TAHA

#101 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 07:37 PM:

Check out the email address in the first one: it leads to Opunake School, possibly this place in New Zealand. Considering that it is now midday there, this is probably more student spam.

If someone wanted to check against IP addresses to make sure it's coming from the South Taranaki area, I'm sure a suitably embarrassing email or phone call could wend its way to the school office. I'm sure Mr Nicholas or Ms Ngarewa would be interested to hear about this matter.

#102 ::: Owlmirror ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 08:03 PM:

Some sort of music criticism? The first ghit on the phrase being reviled reveals:

"H-DUB: gangsta/thug hip hop, hwa style, representing uru taha, fresh beats and a refreshing change to the typical hip hop being dished up in nz!"

#103 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 09:38 PM:

Fun fun. Another kid learns a valuable lesson. I can't wait. *rubs palms together evilly*

#104 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 10:05 PM:

Anybody here know how to dial New Zealand from the US? I've never had to do it.

#105 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 10:13 PM:

Allen Christie: Indeed and truly, you've chosen a bad place to be lame in.

#106 ::: John A ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 10:45 PM:

To dial NZ, use International access code 011 then country code 64 then 6 7618723 (the school phone number) - so

011 64 6 761 8723

It is currently 14:44 here.

#108 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 11:11 PM:

Bwa ha ha ha. Don't want to be Allan Christie now. Silly git.

#109 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 11:12 PM:

The "allen christie" posts came from 125.236.44.48

prx8.tnz.myschools.net

#110 ::: John A ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 11:24 PM:

That makes sense.

myschools.net provides Internet products to Australian schools. It is quite possible that Opunake school is using some of their products and Opunake traffic is using one of the myschools gateways.

#111 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 05, 2007, 11:34 PM:

I love the way the timing worked out on this one. The school day in NZ is conveniently timed for USAians to call in our evening and hit their afternoon...just in time to snag Allen for detention!

#112 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2007, 12:14 AM:

Xopher... You're enjoying this idea of high-school brats getting their just deserts, don't you? How unkind of you. How downright mean. How... How difficult would it be to set a webcam?

#113 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 06, 2007, 05:32 PM:

So what happened? Anyone know?

#114 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2007, 04:33 PM:

Greetings from Arizona. I just now achieved connectivity.

I've heard from Opunake School. They regard it seriously. Steps are being taken.

I don't know whether the lesson "Allen Christie" is learning is Don't Do That, or Don't Do That On School Equipment Using a Traceable Account; but he does appear to be acquiring wisdom at the standard retail rate.

#115 ::: angel ::: (view all by) ::: August 29, 2007, 09:46 PM:

i actually appreciate being around deaf people. some seem to be more smarter than the hearing.to be able to speak without sound, like feeling the wind on your skin, and not see it. to me its very angelic.nothing is different other then than hearing. we are the same. but i always wondered if deaf people only dated people who knew how to sign well??????????

#116 ::: Mary Aileen sees old rudeness ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 06:19 PM:

93, 96-8
The perpetrator was dealt with at the time, but the posts are still there. Delete?

#117 ::: Serge sees felt spam ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 08:19 PM:

I've alwasy wanted to fly to Croatia to play billiard.

#118 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 08:44 PM:

Serge #117:

Pressing the "spam" button behind the scenes here in MT4 makes the post go away. There weren't any replies when I pressed it.

We'll see, as time goes on, how best to use the new tools.

#119 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 09:04 PM:

James @ 118... By the way, does MT4 automatically detect spam, or should we keep on raising flags whenever a spammer scurries in?

#120 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 09:48 PM:

Well, that spammer certainly got through. So yes, raise the flag.

#121 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2009, 10:12 PM:

James @ 120... Duly noted. I had thought that maybe the new/improved ML could automatically detect possible spam right after it had made it thru, thus my question. That being said, I'll wave the flag whenever yours truly sees something fishy.

#123 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2009, 07:31 PM:

I don't know, Stefan; there's no payload. The link goes to Google.

#124 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2009, 09:02 PM:

It's spam.

First, this particular thread has been the target of a whole pile lately. (Threads go through phases. Some of them are noticeably more popular than others with spammers.)

Second, a link to Google is frequently present in spammers' test posts.

Third, the exact same text, word for word including the odd spelling, has been posted in nearly two hundred other Google-indexed threads on other boards.

So it goes away.

#125 ::: Spam deleted ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2009, 06:41 AM:

Spam from 194.8.75.214

#126 ::: Mez scents suspicious spam-stuff ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2009, 06:50 AM:

#126 from "immomiusFet" seems to fit James' description at @125

:(

#127 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2009, 06:53 AM:

Sorry Pendrift, your post weren't visible when I wrote mine.

#128 ::: Xopher sees this Fet "person" spamming AGAIN ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2009, 06:24 PM:

Persistent little bugger, ain't he?

#129 ::: Krystal ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2009, 09:13 PM:

I make small ASL hands out of clay that can spell out any word or name in any color(s). Just thought that maybe some of you would like to check it out! The purpose of me making these is to be used as a teaching tool to help others learn ASL through visual 3D aids. Take a peek if you'd like! www.moonlightaura.com

Thanks and God bless!

#130 ::: Carrie S. sees spam-like something ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2009, 08:27 AM:

I'm not sure it's spam, as it lacks a link, but it's certainly clueless.

Hey, kingrichards, if you're a real person you might try a newer thread.

#131 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2009, 11:27 AM:

It's spam. Probably a scout. Exact same post, word-for-word, appears in multiple other places on the 'Net.

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