Political correctness has caught up with Britain’s deaf community. It is no longer acceptable to sign a slanted eye when talking about the Chinese or to mime a hook nose when referring to Jewish people. The flick of a limp wrist is now an offensive signal for homosexuals. A finger pointing to an imaginary spot in the middle of a forehead is no longer appropriate as the sign for India.
The first UK-wide survey into how British sign language (BSL) is used by deaf people of different ages has found a seismic shift has taken place in the signs used by different generations.
However, DCAL’s Gwilym Morris told the paper: “We are nervous about this being seen as another example of political correctness because the changes are more about evolution rather than dictat of some body that approves language.”
Find out all about the BSL Corpus Project at this link: http://www.bslcorpusproject.org/
Read the full Guardian report by Amelia Hill here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/oct/07/british-sign-language-changing?newsfeed=true
The Limping Chicken is supported by Deaf media company Remark!, provider of sign language services Deaf Umbrella, the Deaf training and consultancy Deafworks, the RAD Deaf Law Centre, and BID’s upcoming 5th anniversary performance by Ramesh Meyyappan on 12th October – don’t miss it!