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In a message dated 11/14/2007 8:38:55 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, mer210@ writes:
I work in a classroom for students with autism and other disabilities.
One of our students is deaf, so we've had interpreters in our room
for a few years now.  And the student I am working with currently is
hearing, but just started speaking last year and uses sign to clarify
meaning.  So I am trying to learn as much as I can.

I have a question about the sign ANGRY.  The sign I've seen for angry
is done with one hand near the mouth.  It starts with the hand open,
palm toward the face, and then the fingers form a claw shaped hand as
it is moved down past the mouth.  (I've attached a little video clip
of what I mean.)

Have you seen this variation being used in the Deaf community?

Just curious.  Thanks!

Merilee Schmidt

Vancouver Washington
Vancouver School District

That variation can indeed be used to mean "angry" and is very common in the Deaf Community.
I tend to label that sign as "mad."    But of course, "mad" and "angry" are very similar concepts.
If you change the hand from a FIVE to a CLAW just once, it tends to mean "mad" if you use a relatively mad facial expression. If you use an even more intense facial expression it will change the meaning into "ANGRY."
But if you use a mildly mad facial expression and do a double movement on the sign (such that you form a "CLAW" then straighten it out a bit and reform the "CLAW") it changes the meaning into "GRUMPY."
Dr. V