July 15th, 2002 |
Book of Sign Language
| For decades,
mankind has longed to be deaf. Jet engines,
auto horns, the dullification of modern popular
music - any one of these things alone might be
worth the price of admission to a wholly silent
world. So how does one sign up? Reproduced for the
first time since its initial printing in 1972,
we are proud to present its revised, expanded,
fully up-to-date illustrated manual of
contemporary American sign language, sometimes
referred to as "finger spelling".
||Drugs / Addiction /
can spiral downward into substance abuse
problems just like hearing people, and
they can blossom into alcoholics as easily as
their well-eared counterparts. Those who find
themselves chemically dependent and hard of
hearing often face additional barriers while
seeking a "fix" in a timely
CAN YOU SPARE 32 CENTS TODAY
Useful in urban settings.
Frantic hand waving, imploring look on face.
Endeavor to conceal evidence of
WHISPER OF WEED, OLD BEAN?
Forefinger and thumb "pinch" together
and retrieve modest dose of marijuana stash.
Understood by prep-school students, frat boys,
Rapid, repeated "jabbing" motion of
invisible syringe into forearm. Accompanied by
William S. Burroughs gaze of
|PUFFIN' THE BLUNT AND STARING AT THE
(1) Tri-fingered drag and inhale. (2)
Both hands simulate gentle waves and coils of
smoke, which drift lazily overhead, then out the
window, down the street, across the sea, beyond
Earth's atmosphere, up up and away into outer
GOT COKE ON MY PINKY
Wry, knowing glance and
tap-tap-tapping of pinky finger against
nostrils. Best when pinky fingernail has grown
into convenient spoon shape.
I KNOW YOU GOT
Continued desperate pleas to any and
all passers by who might have
|Actions / Emotions /
Japanese character set, a single signed maneuver
can illustrate a diverse array of abstract
concepts. Feelings like sorrow, depression,
anger, resentment, despair, nausea, headaches
and constipation are common, as well as everyday
emotional descriptors such as these:
Index and middle finger brand "V" shape
GRABBED THE HOOKER BY HER HAIR
Angry "clamping" of
fist followed by three or four violent
|SNOTS BLEW OUT MY NOSE
Finger moves from nose
to palm, simulating trajectory of expelled
material. Apologetic or simply
SMACK SHUT UP|
Sequential back-palm strikes meant to
WHAT JEFFREY DAHMER DID
Index finger traces circle
around forehead to illustrate acid-pour
"drilling holes" applied by Dahmer during zombie
I'LL BE DARTH VADER
Digits of opposing
hands touch, then expand and contract in deep
thought. Useful during lonely lunch hours or
high school P.E. class.
maneuver where both hands extend above head, and
Two fingers grab either side of nose and
pull down into a sweeping extended
MOUTH'S A-FLAPPIN' BUT I'M NOT
Back of hand strikes mouth repeatedly
to indicate annoying, repetitive discussion.
Accompanied by dull, unenthusiastic
WHAT I THINK OF YOUR OPINION|
(1) Fingers pluck
invisible dust particle from the air and (2)
"flick" particle at the
||Mental & Physical
Health, Overall Well-Being|
are you feeling? How is your health? Not
everyone cares to ask these rhetorical questions
or actively seek a truthful response. In theory
we all carry around unique and different
emotional baggage, but those suffering from
hearing loss like to be reminded that they're
|PLEASE SIR, CAN I HAVE SOME
Hungry expression. Hands cupped forward
in bowl shape, mocking haircut.
HAVE CARPAL TUNNEL AND I'D LIKE TO GO HOME FOR
Weak, unconvincing hand wiggle and
simultaneous wrist clench. Look as though you're
experiencing physical pain.
SQUIRTING OUT OF MY EARS|
(A) Each hand points to
side of head, (B) Exaggerated double-hand
"whoosh" as fingers spread down over
DELICATE MECHANISMS OF MY SANITY ARE
Right hand forms object meant to simulate
heavy rock. Left thumb serves as dainty
WANT TO PULL THE SHRIEKING VOICES FROM MY HEAD
AND SMOOSH THEM
(1) Curl fingers near eyebrows, (2)
Phantom demons are extracted and disposed of.
PASS THE CROISSANTS, THE MASHED POTATOES, THE
ROAST BEEF, THE GRILLED CHEESE
Over and over, grasp imagined buffet
items and pull them closer to your
|PLEASE MAY I INSPECT YOUR
Simulated stretching of rubber glove
around right hand, with wiggling
OFF MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE
Guillotine slice at
base of neck. (Traditional)
|I HAD AN
ABORTION FOR CHRISTMAS|
Upturned right wrist
pantomime as fetus is taken from womb and thrown
paying the rent? You bet. Summer internships and
co-ops are important for any college student,
but even more so for those who face
communication challenges on the job. No longer
content wiping off plastic cafeteria tables at
the local community college, the hard of hearing
are ascending corporate ranks everywhere in
modern society - even operating their own
Right hand forms scissors, index finger
of left hand mirrors penis.
Confusing, incoherent undulation of
fingers just below chin.
CLIPPED THE LOCK WITH BOLT CUTTERS AND STOLE
Jerky cutting motion of chain around
Stretched, forced smile with
forefingers of each
Motionless arms, stern
disapproving glare. Does not listen to a word
SHOVEL SHIT ALL DAY LONG
individuals in human resources, bank tellers,
Fingers of each hand interlock and
remain stationary, thumbs twirl around in slow
circles. Big smile.
Forefinger of right hand curls down
near eyeball, peeking through horizontal
Both hands flip-flop back and forth in a
desperate attempt to appear busy and
Rapid-fire sequence of palm thrusts,
elbow waves, finger wiggles, arm jerks, and
random stabs at the air. See also:
THE SHAKE MACHINE|
Thumb pushes imaginary button over
kayaking. The world is a big place, filled with
so many different ways to pass the time. Why not
gather together the deaf people in your
community, and see how many activities you can
do this summer. It won't cost a penny, and the
memories are sure to last a
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF
Open fingers trace slow DUH-like circles
around forehead. Conceal your genius from plain
WORK AT THE D.M.V.
Index finger and thumb open and shut
several times, like a duck quacking.
|PROGRAMMER BY DAY / CLUBBER BY
Repetitive forefinger extension and
retreat; rest of body stands motionless and
|GODDAMNIT MOM, I ASKED YOU
Fingers rub away fake tears from eyes,
simulated headache and expression of
HOO!!! METALLICA RULES!!!
(1) Right hand waves
around in traditional rock and roll gesture, (2)
Excitable clapping and enthusiasm for live
|METALLICA IS OKAY|
Single, muted rock and
Hands clasp and squeeze
TO COMMIT SUICIDE
Pantomimed finger-figure leaping from
rooftop or extension bridge.
Index finger spins in series of
quick, tight circles.
GLUG GLUG GLUG|
Drinky-drinky motion and tired
|DON'T BE SQUARE, DADDY-O
outline made in personal space. (Considered
|TRADITIONAL BITCH SLAP
Back of palm thrust
outward. Flip quickly to strike nose of
BACK - I KILL YOU|
Fists clenched together holding
|Dating / Mating /
Deaf people having
sex? Of course not. But they like to talk about
it just like anyone else, and the modern lexicon
of sign language terminology is exhaustive and
more than up to the challenge. Our sign language
dictionary concludes with succinct, suitable
ways to communicate one's sexual wishes to a
MY PANTS DOWN
Thumb and forefingers of each hand reach
for belt loops.
|UNLOCK MY LEGS AND GET IT OVER
Simulated ankle separation and
expression of resignation
Inverted palms, wiggling fingers.
Used only when addressing two
(Female only) Solicitation for
multiple partners, indicative of alcohol abuse.
WOULD LIKE ONE COCK
(1) Hold up index finger to indicate
single digit, then (2) make letter C.
PREFER TWO COCKS
Double clenched fists bracket and
twist either side of face, cheeks puffed
ENJOY AN ENORMOUS HORSE COCK
Both hands strain to
wrangle an imaginary penis with the
circumference of a coffee can.
KNOCK OUR COCKS TOGETHER|
Forefingers of opposing
hands bonk together repeatedly, bending
|YOU'VE GOT THE BIGGEST MELONS I'VE EVER
Flat palms curve downward across chest.
|WHO'S UP FOR SOME
Left hand grabs right wrist and
"pushes" forward with implied friction.
|WANNA "PARTY" ?
pantomime of single fist going back and forth,
to and from smirking mouth.
TITS AND PINCH|
(A) Both hands cup implied breasts,
and (B) squeeze imaginary teats.
EQUIPMENT IS LARGELY INADEQUATE
(1) Lick thumb or pinky
finger of left hand to suggest wet willie, then
(2) squeak moistened finger around in circles of
Accompanied by dreary
gaze, cup base of imaginary dick with right hand
and bitterly illustrate only the bare minimum
AN OCTOPUS AT THE BONER BUFFET|
Sequence of random
grabs and "gropes" at the air, squeezing as many
penises as you can in a short period of time.
Turn of the century bathhouse