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American Sign Language: "cereal"

The sign for "cereal" is made by placing your right index finger - palm down - at the right corner of your mouth. (If you are right handed).

While moving your hand to the left corner of your mouth, change the handshape into an "x."  Alternate between the straight index finger and the letter "x" a couple of times. Remember, the movement is from right to left (if you are right handed).


Daniel: What would be a memory reminder for "Cereal"?

Dr. Bill: Think of the milk that is on your chin dribbling off.  That help?

Daniel: Sure did, I thought it might be something like that.

Dr. Bill:  :) 

"What kind of cereal do you like?" = CEREAL, YOU LIKE WHAT KIND?

Signing notes:

Students often get the signs CEREAL and DRY confused.

DRY and CEREAL move in opposite directions.

The sign for "DRY" moves from left to right across your lips (if you are right handed).  DRY starts as an index finger, changes into an X and stays in the form of an "X," palm down, without changing back to an index finger.

Remember the sign DRY starts with a straight index finger and then change it into an "x" while dragging it to the right.  The point is, DRY moves left to right and changes only once into an "X." DRY doesn't change back and forth. Cereal changes back and forth and moves right to left (if you are right handed).

More notes and additional reading for you overachievers:

In a message dated 4/11/2005 7:58:03 PM Pacific Daylight Time, gbrotherton@_____ writes:

Dr. Vicars,

The sign for "cereal" in Lesson 7, you demonstrate using the index finger to x hand shape across the mouth a few times, but the ASL browser from Michigan State University uses a gesture of eating from a bowl.
Should I be concerned about the different variations?

-Gene Brotherton, Jr.
Port Orange, FL.

The answer is simple:  I'm right and they are wrong.  Heh.  Just kidding.
Thanks for including the link.  I took a look at it and the model is doing an initialized "C" version of "soup."    The "eating from a bowl" sign can be modified to mean "soup"-("U" handshape), RICE-("R" handshape), or --less common-- CEREAL-("C"handshape).
You can even modify "SOUP" to mean "SPOON" by sort of dropping the "bowl" at the end of the sign and holding the "U" handshape up a moment longer.  You can modify SOUP to mean "eat soup" by using a larger, slower movement.
You shouldn't be overly concerned about such variations.  Only dweebs, purists, or ASL instructors (ahem) give a fig about it. Skilled Deaf signers will recognize both variations.
Obviously there are regional variations, but the initialized version of "cereal" (eating from a bowl) with a "C" is not something that I'd teach to one of my ASL classes. I consider the "C" version to be "Signed English" -- not ASL.
Personally my main concern is if "cereal" is being eaten...did I get an invite and can I have the toy prize from the box?
Take care,
Dr. Bill

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