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Euphemisms in ASL:


There are those who will tell you that if someone dies you "should" sign "DEAD."

While it is certainly fine and very common to see the sign DEAD used to discuss "dead" people or to state that someone has died -- it isn't the only way to discuss the state of not being living anymore.

In the (American) Deaf Community it is common to see Deaf sign things like: "YEAR-past MY MOM GONE" to mean "I lost my mom last year."

English uses euphemisms.

ASL uses euphemisms.

English speakers generally do not run around telling other English speakers "No, you can't say you lost your mom last year. You have to say 'Last year my mom died!'"

Equal rights for ASL signers:  We have the right to use euphemisms.

When used in context, the sign GONE is an "acceptable" (and common) euphemism for DEAD in ASL.

However the sign "LOST / lose / unknown whereabouts" -- is not an ASL euphemism for DEAD.

GONE yes. (The sign GONE can be used in context mean "dead.")

LOST no. (The sign LOST would seem odd or inappropriate if used to mean "dead.")

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