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ZZZ: The American Sign Language (ASL) sign for "zzz"
Location: forehead, off to the right a bit
Orientation: palm back
Movement: The sign starts an inch or two away from the head and then touches the index finger to the forehead.
Here's the sign "THINK" as in "think about." Ponder.
Move the tip of the index finger in a small circle in front of the forehead.
The hand is in an "AND" handshape. The fingers flutter as if showing intense brain activity.
SLIPPED-MIND or "lose your thought"
"I THINK SO." (But I'm not sure.)
On Friday, July 28, 2023 at 12:46:48 PM PDT, an ASL student asked:
How would you convey the concept of "thought" as in:
"I thought you didn't want to!"
"I thought someone said my name."
Would the signing be something like:
█████ (Name removed and edits to the original email for flow and to protect student privacy).
That is a great question and the simple answer is "neither."
The vast majority of the time when signing "thought" you just sign THINK and context takes care of the meaning.
So method #1 for signing "thought" is: THINK + (context)
There are ways to inflect THINK to help make it more obvious that you are intending for THINK to mean "thought."
The inflected use of THINK can be nuanced but probably most of the time the right approach is to "not" inflect the sign.
In other words, it is important to "not" start over-applying inflection to every instance when THINK is or might be used to mean "thought."
One of the ways THINK +(context) can lean toward conveying the meaning of "thought" is to use a "contact hold." When you sign THINK you sort of jam the tip of the finger up against your forehead and hold it there for just a brief moment longer than you would for an uninflected version of THINK.
An other way THINK can (but doesn't have to be used to) mean thought is you scrunch your nose and use a WH-question expression when signing THINK.
IX-(me) THINK-(huh?/WH-?) IX-(you) GO MOVIE!?
(I thought you were going to the movies?)
Another way to sign "thought" is to use the MULL-OVER sign.
IX-(I/me) MULL-OVER DECIDE (not)-WANT STOP TEACH. I've thought it over and decided I don't want to stop teaching.
Sure there are times when you could add PAST to help the sign THINK mean "thought." Such signing comes across as "I thought that way before."
Or you could add the sign "used to" (using loose-5 hand palm forward, circling back) to mean "I used to think that way."
In many of such cases I'd lean toward putting the PAST or USED-TO sign prior to the THINK sign.
However with enough context you can just sign:
IX-me THINK YOU PAST WANT GO GALLAUDET? = I thought you used to want to go to Gally?!?
"Thoughtful" (as in considerate) might be signed as CONCERNED but using a pleasant facial expression -- the sign that jabs the heart with alternating bent forward middle finger hands (such as used for a version of the 25 sign).
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