Alright, people, how are you doing with your ABCs and 123s? Groovy? Because my stat counter says that ZERO people downloaded the PDFs! Tsk, tsk, tsk… better get on that, because only people who are downloading the PDFs and working on it get to learn the naughty signs!
Okfine. Let’s say you’ve been practicing your ABCs and 123s. The next step is to start mixing them up and actually spelling things with them. A great way to do this is just to dive right in and start fingerspelling anytime. Driving down the street, see a sign, spell it out. “Dry Cleaners” “Grocery” “Dealership” “Plumbing” “Brothel” etc. Making dinner? Start fingerspelling any words you see while you’re cooking. “Paprika” “Flour” “Whole wheat” “Methamphetamine” etc. You see where I’m going here? Ok, good.
A couple tips on good fingerspelling practice:
1- Don’t bounce your hand while you’re spelling. Do you want to have to hand out barf bags? Keep your hand comfortably positioned and still, moving mostly only from the wrist up.
2- Double letters. You have your choice– when fingerspelling, for instance, SLEEP, when you need to do the double E, make your hand sign for E and either nod your hand like it’s nodding, or slide it a little to the right. Whatever feels more comfortable.
3- Practice, practice, practice. My favorite fingerspelling practice site is here. You can set how many words you want to do and then the speed of the fingerspelling and speed it up as you get better. It’s most hawsum.
That’s it for this week. Work rilly rilly hard at fingerspelling every single day as you go about your normal routine, fingerspelling any word that might appear in front of you. Next time we’ll learn some signs to acually carry on a conversation and learn a little more about Deaf culture.
Keep practicing, kids! Let me know if you have any problems downloading or need me to add more video!
Rip it, roll it, and punch it, dude. Or at least fingerspell it.