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American Sign Language: "ink"

In the 21st century it is common to simply fingerspell INK.

There is however a rare old sign that I saw in my youth. You can perhaps it in some of the old classic printed ASL dictionaries:

INK: Dominant hand: upside-down-"i"-handshape-(as if representing a pen or quill), Non-dominant hand: sideways-(pinkie-edge-down)-"O"handshape-(as if representing a small bottle). Movement: Dip the pen into the ink twice.



An ASL hero in the Lifeprint-ASLU Facebook group writes:
"I use old sign for ink when talking about quill and ink during history lessons and cultural discussions about henna. They still use the pot/well of ink. I use I-N-K for everyday pens, markers etc." (8/18/2019)

Another ASL hero added:
"I use the old sign for similar types of topics as well. Also I collect fountain pens so when I talk about buying literal ink pots I will use it. I tend to introduce it with fingerspelling then use it as if it were a classifier. Also one very nice grandmother of a friend of mine signs “art” as INK+DRAW." (8/18/2019)

Reply from Dr. Bill:
I'm so chuffed to learn that there are those out there keeping the classic sign "INK" alive!!! (And that I'm not the only human on the planet that still remembers the sign!)

For you newbies out there, note that these folks are using the classic "INK" sign to refer to the type of liquid ink that comes in little jars (or go in what used to be called "inkwells"). If you are discussing "printer ink" or a "ballpoint type pen" then just spell "I-N-K."
Definition: "chuffed" (adjective / INFORMAL•BRITISH)
"very pleased"


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