forefinger and index finger

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 29 16:32:21 UTC 2012

Since the article explains how the gesture can mean the entire name, and
the video shows the motion, I am guessing you didn't actually look at them
before sending them.


On Wed, Aug 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      forefinger and index finger
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The first line of a story that a deaf preschooler has been told to
> change his Signing Exact English name because "it violates a rule
> that forbids anything in the school that looks like a weapon":
> "Three-and-a-half  year old Hunter Spanjer, who is deaf, signs his
> name by crossing his forefinger and index finger and moving his hand
> up and down."
> Huh?  I don't mean to make fun of a serious issue, but either this
> child is seriously double-jointed or the writer doesn't know his ...
> forefinger from his index finger.
> The article also says "To his family, friends and those who know the
> Signing Exact English (S.E.E.) language that the Grand Island, Neb.,
> boy uses, that gesture uniquely means 'Hunter Spanjer.'
> "  Really?  How does it denote "Spanjer"?  (I suspect all it means is
> "hunter".)
> Joel
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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