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The Hazards of ASL:

Injury and destruction await ye who enter this silent realm.


A YouTube student / viewer writes:
"I did "daughter" in sign, forgetting I have a cigarette in my hand, and burned my face." (1)

Should I "lawyer up?"

Seriously though,, sorry about you injury -- and I hope you feel fine now.
It is not uncommon for ASL students to harm themselves.

One of the most common is poking themselves in the eye. Another is injuring themselves with their fingernails. I recall one young lady who had clipped her nails just before class. Apparently though, clipping her nails caused a jag on her thumbnail. Then during class she did the sign "girl" and sliced her jaw such that it actually bled. You could see the scratch along her jaw-line.

Another student (with yet another wicked thumbnail) exuberantly signed "mom" and punctured her chin.

At an ASL social I watched a rather animated college student basically hit himself in the forehead while referring to someone or something as "dumb." After which he personally felt dumb. (You could see the red mark and a bit of a bump in the middle of his forehead the rest of the evening.)

So, be careful out there folks!

Safe signing!

The hazards of signing include but are not limited to:

1.  Knocking off your eyeglasses

2.  Sending your eyeglasses flying across the room

3.  Knocking over, spilling, and breaking drinking glasses.

4.  Whacking your friends

5.  Puncturing or slicing yourself with your fingernails -- particularly your thumbnail

6.  Poking yourself in the eye

7. Development of carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion type injuries

Keep in mind that this is not a complete list. For example, a woman while giving an ASL presentation fell (while pretending to be a woman falling) and tore the ACL, LCL, and MCL ligaments in her knee resulting in hospitalization and surgery. (2)




1. Source: Etherealシステム (6/12/2020) Bill Vicars channel, YouTube, comment section:
2. Source: Lifeprint-ASLU (6/12/2020)  group (10,000+ member private group), Facebook,

Also see: "ASL-Fu"


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