White Asl's White ASL: The Power Of Words

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Language should be defined as any means of communication, whether it be through sounds or gestures, that is understood by humans who have a knowledge of that specific language. While people have various interpretations of what languages are defined as, its main purpose is to communicate. Language allows for people to be creative in conveying their feelings and inner-most thoughts, thus there has been a huge change in the way people speak and write. It is often said that most of what is spoken today in English is completely incorrect, going by the standards that were used many years ago. English is constantly enriched with new words and expressions through various means, and it evolves differently in the many places that it is spoken. The …show more content…
For example, sign language has created many signs and ways of showing certain things that are seen when people speak or write English. In the short video, Black Variation in Black & White ASL, many new signs or variations of signs are created to fit the communities needs and to adopt certain phrases that are used by speaking people. In the video, it is mentioned that many of the younger ASL users interact with the hearing world more than the older ASL users, allowing them to evolve the ASL that they use, just like English has been enriched with many new words and phrases. The video references phrases such as “Girl, please” and “That’s tight.” These phrases were repurposed by a few African American ASL using communities to match the way that English speakers use them. These phrases are evidence of an evolving ASL that shows how signs that already exist can shift meaning to benefit the community using them because of the changing needs of people and societies. Similar to the influence English speakers have had on the young ASL speakers, many other spoken languages have influenced English. This act of English speakers taking words from other languages mostly comes from the people that speak multiple languages. These people are more likely to notice how English cannot describe certain things like another language can or vice versa. In Funes the Memorious, Funes “had learned English, French, Portuguese, and Latin.” (Borges, 115). Funes clearly understood the descriptive capacities of different languages, and having seen what he did with his number system, he probably would have mixed all the languages that he knew to find the perfect way to describe certain objects or living beings in the best possible

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