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American Sign Language: "cancel"

The sign for "cancel" has many meanings, including: "cancel," "correct," "grade," and "criticize."  It means "correct" as in to "Correct someone's paper by putting X's next to the wrong answers."  (It doesn't mean "correct" as in "right."  For "right" use the appropriate version of the sign "RIGHT."

To sign "cancel," use the tip of your index finger to draw an "X" on the palm of your non-dominant hand. I start at the top right of my palm and move toward the bottom left.  Then I "draw" a line from the top left of my palm toward the bottom right of the palm.

CANCEL / CORRECT-(grade_papers) / CRITICIZE:

Animation:  CANCEL

If you modify the sign "cancel" by doing it with a "D"-hand (making contact to the palm with the tips of the thumb, middle, ring, and pinkie fingers of the "D"-hand) this sign can mean "discriminate."

PAY-OFF / paid off / to get out of debt
If you modify the dominant hand to use the middle finger (bent forward at the large knuckle) instead of the index finger this sign can be used to mean "paid off" or "pay off." The "paid off" sign tends to do the first movement with the middle finger and the second movement with a flat hand (sort of like combining the signs "cancel," "empty," and "clean").

The sign "CANCEL / criticize / to correct" can also be used in context to mean:
- indicate errors in, show mistakes in, point out faults in
- tell (someone) that they are mistaken

Depending on context and facial expressions the connotation (the affect or "feeling") of the sign "CANCEL / criticize / to correct" can range from "critical" to "emotionally neutral." (The sign "CANCEL / criticize / to correct" doesn't have to be negative.)

There are better signs (than "CANCEL / criticize / to correct" ) that can be used to mean:
"I corrected (fixed) my mistakes."

Some better choices or possibilities depending on the situation:
FIX (to fix something I built or created)
STOP (as in stopped doing the "bad" thing)

You can learn American  Sign Language  (ASL) online at American Sign Language University
ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars

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