I know exactly one ASL sign – Cat – which is delightful because it mimics a cat cleaning its whiskers. Little did I know, there was a wealth of equally fun signs that I could’ve been making, now crushed under the boot of political correctness. The twirled moustache for France is terrific, as well as the military hat for Germany!
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.