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American Sign Language:  "wet-wipes"


Notes:  Many people start the sign "wet" by touching a loose "W" handshape to the front of their chin. (A relaxed a modification of the sign for water).  But on compound signs like "wet-wipes" you tend to drop parts of the two signs from which the compound is made.

WET:  If you do this sign with a single movement, it means "wet."
If you do it with a double movement it can mean either "wet" or "humid."
If you do this sign with a gentle facial expression it can mean "soft."


American Sign Language University ASL resources by Dr. William Vicars
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Optional reading:

In a message dated 10/19/2004 10:00:43 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

I am wondering in what context would you use the term "wet wipes"?
Do you use this term for when you would be talking about washing a car?



If and when you become a parent you will likely develop an appreciation for the type of "wet wipe" to which I'm referring and the value of keeping these items in the car.  Heh.
The "washing a car" sign would be more like "wax on, wax off." If you have no clue what that means--just mime washing a car, and/or go watch the
original "Karate Kid" movie. (Not the new version.
Regarding the practice sentence: "Do you keep wet wipes in the car?"  For most people the answer is simply "no."  For parents of young children the answer is often a greatly emphasized "yes." 
Many, many people who are now taking ASL classes are doing so in order to facilitate the language development of their babies.  Such being the case I have chosen to keep that phrase in the curriculum.
I'm not so much interested in the concept of "wet-wipe" but in the student knowing there is a sign for "wet" (and its variations) and how it can be combined with other concepts.
That particular sentence ("Do you keep wet wipes in the car?") is testing to see if students know the sign "keep."  It also requires students to think in ASL grammar instead of relying on the English preposition "in."  Also, it helps me to check if the students are raising their eyebrows to indicate a "yes/no" type sentence.
Dr. Bill

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