You know… like a kind of lopsided T-rex

Sign language. I’ve always wanted to learn it. I say that, but haven’t succeeded in doing so, so I guess I can’t want it that much… But I have a vague half-formed desire to learn sign language. On reflection this is perhaps from seeing Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral. He does it well.

What does this teach us? It teaches us to plan our post out before starting so we don’t go off on a tangent.

Sign language. I’ve always wanted to learn it. I have a book on BSL. This stands for British Sign Language. Unsurprisingly (with 20-20 hindsight) the book is nigh on useless without the accompanying DVD. But still, it is manifestly obvious from the pictures of the lady with 70s glasses that BSL is a double handed language. Hugh (see above) confirms this, as does his deaf brother (in the film). It’s lucky that they both know BSL, what with the brother being deaf and everything.

Anyway, I was recently informed that ASL (BSL’s weak runt of a brother) is a one-handed sign language. ASL, as you may know, is American Sign Language. For any Americans reading, this means you can make words with your hands.

This reminded me of that well known fact. Although British people always use a napkin* and use three or four separate sets of cutlery per meal irrespective of how many courses are involved, our transatlantic cousins eat in a very different way. They prefer to cut everything up into small pieces and then transfer their fork into their right hand to do the actual shovelling eating.

If any of you have children in the room, please cover their eyes… Yes I did say the fork is held in the right hand.

Anyway, the point of all of this was that I became concerned that in America one hand might atrophy and degenerate into some kind of vestigial limb. Without use it would wither and die.

Which is a problem really. I mean it is hard to be the World’s Policeman when you have a gimpy arm. It doesn’t engender the correct level of respect.

* not a serviette!


6 thoughts on “You know… like a kind of lopsided T-rex

  1. I learnt the words ‘you’, ‘me’ and ‘off’ to go with one word a girl at school showed/taught me.

    I find that’s all I need 🙂

    do americans use knives and forks?
    do you really need ’em for burgers, hot dogs and pizza?

  2. I have to admit I have failed you all back home. I resort to the one handed fork jobby whenever there is nothing to cut up. However, I do not cut my food up and then eat with one hand, I do use my knife and my fort remains in the left hand. I will teach Ned to do the same when he is old enough to have a knife, but for right now he is a one handed fork little guy and sometimes just a use-your-fingers kind of guy.

    Oh and in the defense of Americans (yes, I am standing up for all of them!), we do not eat hot dogs, hamburgers and ribs all the time. Well, only all the time during the summer, but what can you expect when we get glorious weather all summer and have to BBQ all the time? See what you are missing living in England?!!

    And lastly, I took BSL and passed and loved it, it was really cool and now I would like to learn ASL but it is so expensive.

  3. you also forgot about our fascination and love of americanized chinese food, which we tend to eat with forks (although honestly, i’ve never seen anyone hold a fork with their right hand. but that could be because i’m from connecticut).

    and we tend to use the one hand for sign language and the other for universal gestures (i’m sure you know the ones.)

  4. Brilliant, Connecticut bucking the trend. Are you all left handed over there? Burn the witches!

    (PS Hello!)

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