Author Topic: For OtE (On the edge)  (Read 802 times)

On the edge

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Re: For OtE (On the edge)
« Reply #30 on: 21 Aug 2021 10:50AM »
Cultural deaf activism refuses to engage, you are either with them or you are against them.  It's important to understand I am NOT challenging rank and file deaf people who mostly accept whoever and whatever on the ground.  The issue is you challenge the people who claim to speak for them, then that gets attributed as an attack on all deaf people, it's their stock in trade response to anyone who asks questions of the activism.


I can assure you it is highly effective too.  Isolated deaf will gang together to freeze you out by default they will only see you as going at them because their activism is deaf as well.  Gallaudet was a prime example of how putting all deaf in one area and at the mercy of the more able and dubious deaf creates all sorts of issues and divisions.  You can be portrayed as a deaf hater and worse for directly challenging aspects of the deaf lobby and access, sign usage or effectiveness etc.


I've been deaf longer than many cultural opponents have been alive, they still think they know more than me.  They have grown up with access I fought for and take it for granted. When we fought, there were no subtitles. There was no mainstream access, there was no national sign support set up either, just a dedicated SS 65% of whom had no signing qualifications, there was no 'BSL' because there was no dictionary to define it as a language, it was a collection of regional variations of signs that's all.


I doubt they have an effective base for BSL now because there are no signs for the higher academic and scientific courses at all, some more educated deaf are making up their own.  Deaf don't understand the basis of language, English was developed over 1000 years.  It has 400,000 words or terms used regularly, BSL has 1700 and that doesn't take into account learning issues deaf can have by default.


In education, there are no teachers to teach them, you cannot teach what doesn't exist..  Still, they insist on demands nobody can meet because BSL is incomplete, even if it was a more complete language, it is still not the primary language society uses.  You would be just creating more reliances and more dependency on others, activism relies on a 'back to the future' approach of ye olde deaf schools and clubs will do the job, this time singularly BSL based, ignoring the fact 86% have gone already and won't return.


CI implantation has vastly increased, Hearing aids are far better etc, prevention of children being born deaf has improved, technology has freed many of mutual reliances and given them more options.  Deaf activism is adopting a Canute approach to deaf futures.  In defiance going at people like myself who make those points, because it means their old ways are no longer of use, or wanted.  They are still stuck in the 1880s.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: For OtE (On the edge)
« Reply #31 on: 21 Aug 2021 01:02PM »
I think that so long as you use 'deaf' to refer to 'culturally deaf' or 'Deaf' people, you'll get some degree of hostility from those of us that identify as 'deaf', do not regard ourselves as part of the 'Deaf' community but do regard ourselves as part of the 'deaf' community, which includes the 'Deaf' community.  (For 'Deaf' feel free to substitute 'deaf' plus a qualifier such as 'culturally' or 'signing' vel sim. 

Others might not see it as part of a wider community with sub-categories, but maybe still have a sense of brotherhood with the Deaf community, just as those of us of mixed heritage often (but not always) share a sense of brotherhood with people from other ethnic minorities that overlap with ours or who share some barriers in the world in which we live.

Likewise, I'm not a wheelchair user, although I've been a wheely walker user but I'll carry on doing my bit locally to politely ask locals to keep a wheelchair width available between cars and hedges, ditto baby buggy width etc.

But we each have our own sense of identity, and there are so many factors that it gets difficult, doesn't it? 

As for how fast languages develop, English is developing so fast, with so many new words, that a news item I've just read points out that police and courts are using interpreters for what I would call 'modern youthspeak' (I don't think 'youthspeak' would ever be used by journalists!) but includes MLE for those in London (focus of the article) and Drill words.

As for size of language, I just did a quick search and the Oxford English Dictionary, which is updated quarterly, just added 700 words.  Merriam Webster added over a thousand words in its last two editions combined.

But most languages around the word have far smaller vocabularies than English and rely very heavily on compound words.  Indeed, we use a large number of compound words in English and can understand new ones.  Self-isolate is new to Merriam Webster.  I wonder whether any anglophone government needed to define it to the bulk of their population?

So if more first-language BSL users enter more fields of activity, their language can grow.  But again, since some people see languages as either/or (including some of the strident campaigners you encounter) and some of us see them as both/and, particularly if we want to delay the onset of  certain dementias (yes, childhood and youth multilingualism) can delay onset of dementia in your seventies and eighties), there will probably always be a clash of views.  That, IMO, is no different from the clash of views in countries and regions with more than one traditional spoken  language, e.g. Celtic languages and English, or Romance & Germanic languages etc.

Mind you, I love the way that writing both Mandarin and Cantonese in Chinese ideogrammatic script makes the differences in pronunciation and local vocabulary almost meaningless in some contexts.  I wonder whether that helps for transcribing signing, too?  I was about to say like UK stick-figure lavatory signs, then thought "Oops, there's an argument to had there over male/female public loos!"

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)