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American Sign Language: "expire"


A person named "Lyn" writes:


Dear Dr. Bill,
My question is regarding the sign for 'expired.' Meaning 'expired' as in 'an expired driver's license.' Or, as in 'these pills expired six months ago.'

To express 'expired,' I use the sign that means: dissipate; dissolve; disintegrate; melt; fade-away etc. This refers to the sign that starts with a Flat O hand; then all fingers slide toward the base of the hand until you have an A hand shape.

My question is two-fold. Am I correct, or incorrect, in using that sign?

Secondly - is there another sign (or other signs) that would be more accurate and more in keeping with true ASL?

Thank you for your time and expertise - and willingness to share the same with so many ASEllers!

- Lyn

Dear Lyn,
Your sign choice of "dissolve" is a clever idea but not the best sign in this situation. 
There is a very specific sign for "expired license."

How you do it is you hold up two "L" hands with the thumb-tips near each other (or even touching), palms pointing forward, and index fingers pointing upward (as if you were going to sign "LICENSE").  Then you rotate your dominant hand so that the index finger (of the "L" handshape) is pointing down.  The thumb-tips are still pointing directly at each other and are still touching or nearly touching. The difference now is that one "L" hand is pointing up and the other is pointing down.
Cordially,

Dr. Bill


 


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