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American Sign Language: "NONEXISTENT"
A student writes:
Hi Dr. Bill:
I'm going a bit crazy searching the Internet and no definitive answer. So I'm referring to an expert.
A friend did a sign similar to dark but inverse, by this I mean starting in front of the face with both hands. I've asked him what it meant he answered "nothing at all". So the analyst is mean went searching and the sign "nothing at all" is different. I kept searching other options, and after some time I saw the sign on a site that had it labeled as "all gone."
I apologize for asking for some of your time but Iíll appreciate your insight regarding this sign.
______ [Name on File]
You have come upon one of the most awesome and complex signs in all of existence. And for irony the sign means "non-existent."
The sign is based on the concept of holding out your palm (palm up / in front of your mouth) and blowing (puffing actually) as if representing the idea that you may have had something on your palm but it is blown into the wind and no longer existent in your life. Dust in the wind.
Your friend simply did a two handed version of the sign.
When you do the sign, purse your lips a little bit. (You don't actually have to blow, but you can if you want for "dramatic effect.")
- Dr. Bill
The concept of "nonexistent" may be expressed in several ways depending on your context.
One of the simplest ways is to shake your head negatively while signing HAVE -- which means "don't have."
Another way is to sign: NONE.
Yet another way is to sign NOT THERE.
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