If someone uses American Sign Language, can they fully communicate with someone in Bolivia? Or France? Or even England? No! In fact, ASL derives from the French system in use in the early 19th century, and they’re still 60% similar. British Sign Language, which arose independently, would be mostly unintelligible to an American signer. This is part of a complete episode.
- Sweet Dreams 06/17/2016: In deafening workplaces, like sawmills and factories, workers develop their own elaborate sign language to discuss everything from how their weekend went to when the... [more]
- How We Roll 06/10/2016: If you're serious about writing a memoir, what topics should you include, and what can you leave out? And how honest can you really be... [more]
- Gangbusters 05/27/2016: Sensuous words and terms of endearment. Think of a beautiful word. Now, is it simply the word's sound that makes it beautiful? Or does its... [more]
- XYZ PDQ 05/20/2016: How often do you hear the words campaign and political in the same breath? Oddly enough, 19th-century grammarians railed against using campaign to mean "an... [more]
- Hang a Ralph 05/13/2016: The names of professional sports teams often have surprising histories -- like the baseball team name inspired by, of all things, trolley-car accidents. Plus, some... [more]