This version is good for speed, and speeding.
FAST: quick, immediate.
(Stick your thumbs a little-bit between your index finger and middle
fingers. The index fingers are wrapped a bit around the outside edge of
the thumbs. When I do it, I'm resting the pad of my thumbprint on the side of
my middle finger, the nail of my thumb is digging slightly into the inner
crook of my index finger. Then I snap the thumbs up.
In a message dated 5/23/2011 12:17:06 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, David in
...I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine, who is training to
become an ASL interpreter, over the sign FAST. Now the most common way I've
seen this sign performed is the way you have it on your website. The had
starting out in an L shape and snapping back and slightly up to a modified X
hand shape. However, there is a variation I came across when I was in
Arizona. Instead of the L hands you simply start with open relaxed 5 hands
and snap them up into S handshapes. Due past injuries my hands are not
exactly what you'd call "dexterous" so I find this latter version much more
comfortable than the more common method and have never had a problem being
During a conversation my friend stopped me and asked me why I used that
particular variation and I briefly explained. He told me that the variation
I use has much more intense connotation that makes it inappropriate for
normal use. I responded that I used my non-manuals to distinguish between
the different levels of intensities.
Well I consulted with some of the members of the Deaf community but was
unable to really get a conclusive answer as to which interpretation is
correct. I was hoping you could weigh in with a more conclusive statement.
Thank you very much for any help,
Your friend is correct. The "relaxed-5 snap into S hands" version of FAST
can be thought of as meaning "very-FAST." It is as if the additional
fingers contribute to the concept of additional speed. I tried
doing the "5-S" version using a neutral facial expression but my face just
naturally went into an "ooh" expression and my head did a little
jerk-type motion. I find it easy to modify this sign to mean
"extremely-FAST" but it is awkward and non-standard to attempt to use the
5-S sign to covey the concept of moderately-FAST.
If you modify the signing of the sign FAST by doing it the sign
either very slowly or very quickly it can mean FAST-(very) =
If you modify the signing of SLOW by doing it the sign either more
slowly or more quickly it can mean "very slow" SLOW-(very).