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Time-out: How do you sign "time-out"* in ASL?


* In this circumstance we are discussing "time out" as in "an imposed temporary suspension of activities, especially the separation of a misbehaving child from one or more playmates as a disciplinary measure." (Source: Oxford).

The phrase "time-out"* is a concept the signing of which is strongly influenced by context and environment.  There are a number of common / acceptable (i.e. "right") ways to sign "time-out."

In environments (such as a school) where there are lots of children engaged in lots of interactive activities and where the form of the time-out activity is highly variable (such as sitting in a corner, standing in a corner, sitting on a bench, standing in a designated area, sitting on the grass in a specified area, etc.), it is likely that the expression of "time out" will have evolved into or adopted a very quick (fairly low-effort) signed expression due to its being used frequently over a long period of time. A sign used by a school will likely not involve much expansion or specific directives (such as go sit in the corner) because there may be common situations (in need of a time-out) when a corner is not available. Thus a quick, single sign such as the "TIME-OUT"-[T-sign / sports gesture] or the PAUSE sign will tend to be popular.

TIME-OUT-[T-sign / sports gesture]

time-out, timeout, or "time out"

PAUSE:



 



In smaller or more contained environments such as homes and/or individual classrooms the concept of "time out" is often more commonly expressed by simply stating the desired actions associated with a time-out. For example, "GO SIT."  The parent or caregiver does the sign "GO" in the direction of a specific chair or corner associated with being in a time out.  Usually there is no need for a separate sign for time out in such "high-context" environments.  If a parent stands up, walks over to the table, grabs a chair and places it facing the corner -- it is pretty obvious to most children that they are being directed to do a "time-out."  If the child hesitates or seems unclear then the parent starts adding more signs (such as: GO-there SIT!) or even physically assisting the child to the chair.**  Eventually upon being told "GO-[go there to the corner] SIT!" the child will be expected to get the chair themselves and sit in the corner (or sit there without a chair).
See: GO
See: SIT

It is certainly common and acceptable to use various expansive approaches to creating the meaning of "time-out" by signing such things as FINISH-[one-handed / "knock it off"], PAUSE, or STOP and then adding GO BEDROOM or GO CORNER. 

See: BEDROOM
See: CORNER

It is not uncommon for parents of Deaf children to even do the "TIME-OUT"-[T-sign / sports gesture] and point toward the corner or bedroom in which the time-out is to occur. 
 



A separate but related concept is: "To be placed in time-out" and / or "to place in time out."
The concept of "being placed by authority into a specific situation"


 

Also see:
OUT
PAUSE
PUNISH
STOP
TIME
TROUBLE
 



 

Notes: 
* "time out" as in "an imposed temporary suspension of activities, especially the separation of a misbehaving child from one or more playmates as a disciplinary measure." (Source: Oxford).

** Ever so gently of course.

 




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