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macaroni salad: How to sign "mac salad" in American Sign Language (ASL)


A student asks / comments:  "My favorite food is mac salad. Would macaroni/elbow noodles be spelled out or does macaroni default to spaghetti too?"

Response from Dr. Bill:

I would definitely spell "mac" and then do the standard sign for SALAD.

There are those who might try to give you a hard time for using the SALAD sign with "mac" because they will say it is for "tossed green salad" type salads -- however, such a viewpoint ignores the fact that macaroni salad is also stirred around pretty vigorously during preparation. It also ignores the fact that over time formerly iconic / depictive signs often become more arbitrary.

If someone gives you flack about using the SALAD sign for the "salad" in "mac salad," just smile, cut the person out of your will, and spell both "mac" and "salad" when you are around that person.





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