Charlie Swinbourne: Ten great comebacks for deaf people to use

Posted on December 11, 2012

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We’ve all had them. Those annoying questions that well-meaning people seem to ask you again and again. And again.

Although their query might be perfectly innocent, they’re usually followed by an awkward pause as you work out how to respond, and explain.

But now, thanks to Limping Chicken, you can go out armed. Not with bullets, or a baseball bat – we don’t condone that at all – but with these ten verbal comebacks, designed to help you make your point in a nanosecond, before moving swiftly on to more interesting topics.

They’ve been tested, revised, and rewritten. They really work. But a word of warning. They should be used with extreme care.

It’s great to have someone like you here.

Hey! It’s even better to be greeted by someone like you! Your employer’s clearly very forgiving.

Is lipreading an exact science?

I’m not sure lapdancing is any kind of science at all. Why?

Can you tell him that we appreciate him coming here?

Can you tell her that I’m her client, not my interpreter. Speak to me.

You speak really well for a deaf person!

Thanks! You speak fairly well for a hearing person.

You were born deaf? What’s that like?

What’s it like to be born hearing? Maybe we can both educate each other?

I don’t like subtitles.

No worries. I don’t like sound!

You’re very brave.

Sorry, you must be confusing me for my uncle who’s beaten cancer twice. You know him? I’ll say hello!

Is sign language the same all over the world?

Yes! Just like all spoken languages are the same in every country… aren’t they?

You can drive? Is that legal?

We need a licence to drive? I wondered why that police car was following me.

My auntie used to have a deaf dog!

My auntie used to have a hearing dog. Wow! We’re definitely going to get along!

Charlie Swinbourne is the editor of Limping Chicken, as well as being a journalist and award-winning scriptwriter. He writes for the Guardian and BBC Online, and as a scriptwriter, penned My Song, Coming Out and Four Deaf Yorkshiremen.

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The Limping Chicken is supported by Deaf media company Remark!, sign language communications agency Deaf Umbrella, provider of video interpreting services SignVideo, the RAD Deaf Law Centre, and Remote Captioning provider Bee Communications.