signs in different cultures

Tim Grove tim_grove at SIL.ORG
Tue Jan 17 22:28:28 UTC 2006

Apologies for this post, but I just had to get in on this joke. My 
mother once told me that left-handed people were the only ones in their 
right minds! (I'm right handed, but my father and my brother were left 
handed; so is my son. I'm not quite certain what that means for me! Hey 
Neil, I'm originally from PA (Doylestown) but I'm now living in 
Cheltenham, England. We are a hearing family, but use some signing with 
our son (Makaton, a simplified version of BSL?) who has speech 
difficulties. We are being encouraged to make more use of signing with 
him and I am currently looking into starting some BSL classes through 
the Deaf Association here in Gloucestershire. I'm thoroughly enjoying 
the posts I read in this forum, though I guess I'm going to have to 
empty my inbox one day...

Neil Bauman wrote:

> Hi Val:
>> So you are left-handed, I believe? That is why you are so
>> intelligent!
> You're making me blush Val. I doubt I'm any more intelligent than you 
> and the rest of you people on this list. I've learned a LOT by keeping 
> my mouth shut and my eyes open on this list.
> Years ago I read that left-handed people have many more connections 
> between the two halves of their brains. What this means is that we can 
> think faster supposedly. Also we tend to be more logical.
> Interesting story. Years ago when I was the head of the computer 
> department at a college in Alberta, I realized that everyone in my 
> department was left-handed--right from me, my assistant, my 
> programmers, all the way down to the data-entry people. (And I didn't 
> hire them because they were left-handed either! LOL)
>>  I heard that left-handed people are brilliant ;-))
> So are bald people. You should see the sun gleam off the top of my 
> dome! LOL
> I seldom post to this list because this is not my main area of 
> interest. I am focused on helping hard of hearing people cope with 
> their hearing losses--but now and then I like to chime in. Actually, 
> I'm so busy helping thousand and thousands of hard of hearing people, 
> that I don't have much time for Sign Writing and signed languages.
> You may not know this, but I'm almost deaf now, so signing is slowly 
> becoming a small part of my life. Without my hearing aids, I hardly 
> hear any sounds any more.
>> You know what is interesting in the statement above, is that even
>> though it is true that we have different signed languages,
>> SignWriting is visual enough that some people can learn to sign by
>> reading it, or learn other languages by reading it.
> True. I'd do the same if I spent more time on it.
> I've been collecting the fingerspelled alphabets of various signed 
> languages. The first one I really learned wasn't ASL fingerspelling, 
> but Czech fingrespelling. I like it much better than ASL. The 
> interesting thing is that Czech fingerspelling is similar and 
> sometimes identical to British fingerspelling. Something you might not 
> have expected.
> Regards
>                                         Neil
> Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
> Center for Hearing Loss Help
> 49 Piston Court
> Stewartstown, PA 17363
> Phone: (717) 993-8555
> FAX: (717) 993-6661
> Email: neil at
> Website:

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