A student writes:
Hi, Dr. Bill!
Is Amslan the same as Ameslan?
And am I correct in saying both of those terms are becoming
obsolete/not well liked in Deaf culture?
You are correct. Many years ago (early 1970's) "some" authors
and teachers used the terms "Amslan" or "Ameslan" as abbreviations
or replacements for the longer phrase "American Sign Language."
One well-respected author who did so was "Lou Fant."
But these days the general consensus is that the proper phrase is
"American Sign Language" which can be shortened to "ASL" in context.
Note: I have great respect for
Lou and all he did for and in the Deaf Community.
[He also wrote a great book called "The
American Sign Language Phrase Book" -- which I own and cherish.]
On the other hand I'd
like to point out something that I don't respect.
Look at the "title" of the "app" listed below. It states "Learn ASL
and Ameslan" .... -- That is a major FAIL!
Sorry to be blunt but using both terms in the same sentence as if
they were different things tells me that someone doesn't realize that
the terms ASL and Ameslan refer to the SAME THING. Thus the "author(s)"
are trying to make a quick buck off of (take advantage of) the
language of the Deaf. I don't mind someone EARNING a living
from teaching ASL. Hey, it is what I do. ;-) but I do
mind people posing as experts and mediators between two cultures who
are not qualified and who have not put in the time and effort to
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