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American Sign Language: "chat"

The sign for "chat" has a couple of versions. 

CHAT (version 1)

Sample sentence: Do you like to chat with Deaf people?


There is another way to sign "chat." This other version uses an alternating up and down movement.

CHAT (version 2)


There are two popular versions of the sign for "chat."  (See the examples above.)
I honestly believe there is a slight difference in meaning between these two signs.  Sort of like the difference in taste between Pepsi and a no-name brand cola.  The difference is there, but it is not so much of a difference as to matter in everyday usage. To me, version one is more laid back and casual.  Version two is more active more involved. I don't see either as being "formal" though. I also don't consider one to be more clear or used more frequently than the other. For some reason, if I am talking about Hearing people chatting, I tend to use version one. I could also use version one for Deaf chatting, but would be less inclined to use version two for Hearing people chatting. But that is just me. I doubt you'd get much consensus on these signs, but it would be interesting to ask around. I'll have to do that one of these days.
-- Dr. Bill

In a message dated 6/6/2006 11:26:18 AM Pacific Daylight Time, johnnyarkoosh@____ writes:

Dr. Bill,

Thanks for the website.  I don’t know if you still update it regularly or not, but nonetheless I appreciate it.

I just wanted to comment on the “chat” sign version 2.

I agree that version 2 is primarily a “Deaf chat” and would not find myself using it concerning Hearing people.  I do not know why that is either, but I did notice in chat version 2 you have on a more “Deaf face” which helps lend to the idea that it is a Deaf conversation.

I don’t know how to explain what I am seeing, but the version 2 face is not a face I would make in relation to hearing people conversing.  It is also a face much more closely related to version 2 than version 1.  I don’t think, regardless of circumstance that I make that particular face when I use version one, just something that really struck me.

Anyway, thanks again.

~ Johnny Arkoosh

Hey, thanks for the interesting observation.
I appreciate your comment.
-- Dr. Bill


Also see: TALK

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