I’m sure you’ll have seen the not-quite-new “thing” on Facebook, where people are taking turns to nominate their friends to share their three favourite BSL signs.
To see Jen’s article in BSL, click play below:
I think the Three Favourite Signs trend started in another country; possibly in Italy or Denmark; before spinning its way around Facebook and hitting British people’s accounts.
It’s wonderful. I admit, at first I thought it was a bit annoying because I thought it would be like the ice bucket challenge and I don’t like “chain” things, personally.
However, I soon realised that while the bucket challenge was simple and effective with good comedy value, the Three Favourite Signs videos were actually really fascinating.
It’d be impossible to watch them all because there are simply too many, but the ones I’ve seen have all been brilliant. Some have blown me away.
I tried to pick my Three Favourite Other People’s Signs, but was spoilt for choice. There were old signs, family signs, local signs, school signs, GSV (Gay Sign Variation) signs and all sorts. I’d never even seen some of them before.
And that’s just brilliant. It’s proof, if we ever needed any, that BSL is a rich, thriving language that’s here to stay.
Another important aspect for me was the fact that more and more people are becoming confident enough to film themselves signing. Good!
That’s especially important to me because I remember, many years ago, when I was at school, my teacher telling us not to sign in the street when we went shopping in the nearest town. It was an oral school, kind of obviously, and we were warned that people would look at us and think we were “stupid” or like monkeys if we walked around signing.
So, of course we tried our hardest not to sign when we went to the shops. Our teachers were grown up, so they had to be right, of course? Well, when I became a grown up myself, I realised that they were actually very wrong about that one.
That hasn’t left me, though. Plus, I’m not that old(!) and I know that people who are older than me had it much worse. It doesn’t bear thinking about, really.
But now! We have Facebook! We have videos of people signing all over the place, like on trains and in parks! My own face tends to be in quite a few BSL videos on Facebook too because of my work – to the point that I have to wear differently logoed tops to show who I’m representing…
So, there you go. I’m chuffed to see all this BSL online and I hope it continues.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
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