To sign "not," form your hand into an "A" hand with the
thumb extending a bit more than normal. Place the thumb under your
chin. Quickly move your hand forward a few inches.
NOT / "un-"
Generally you use a negative headshake with this sign. For the
sake of emphasis, you may see this sign done with a very strong
forceful movement and little or no head-shake.
If you do this
sign with two hands it can mean "DENY."
In a message dated 3/22/2012 7:58:17 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
Recently I used the thumb in an extended "A" sign coming
from my chin to make the not sign. I was told that this is a
very bad curse word among deaf and ASL students at our
nearby Jr. College. Is it true? This is the sign I had
learned many years ago for "don't".
Thanks for your help.
I reckon someone is either "pulling your leg" or they do not
hang out enough with native Deaf adults and thus are unfamiliar
with how signing is done in the real Deaf World.
You state that you've been told that the sign
"NOT" is a "curse word" among Deaf and ASL students at
your nearby Jr. College. Hmmm. Well, then perhaps
whenever you are on that college campus you should
negate concepts by simply using a "negative head-shake, (and
thus avoid using the "NOT" sign around those folks). Heh. But
when you are "not" on that campus I think you'll be just
fine using the sign for "NOT."
The sign "NOT" (done as an "extended-thumb-A-hand" starting
under the chin and moving forward) is well established
in ASL. It is used to indicate or emphasize negation, denial, or
refusal. (For example: " PRO.1 NOT GO!" = "I'm not going!") The
"NOT" sign also commonly appears as the second segment
of the compound sign "WHY-NOT" which is used to express the
question, "Why not!?"
In a message dated 3/22/2012 9:39:11 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
Is it possible that they are using it in a quick motion to mean
something else? I use it when I am trying to tell my children to
stop doing something. I do the sign as a quick action, as if I
am orally saying" DON'T"
I am just
trying to clarify as I would hate to upset a deaf ASL user when
I am HOH and using a sign I thought was correct.
If you want your kids to "stop" doing something then you should
use the sign for STOP or the
specific sign for DON'T.
The sign NOT does overlap for some usages with the sign DON'T
but the two signs are not interchangeable.
-- Dr. Bill
Also see: NEGATION
Also see: DON'T
Also see: STOP
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