Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Sign Language Replacing Pig Latin As Top Secret Language

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – No one saw the signs but American Sign Language is replacing Pig Latin as the top secret language of choice among tweens and teens.

Sign Language specialist Rachel Coleman – who hosts the PBS series Signing Time! – says one reason for the new trend is that “every kid wants a secret language.”

She says kids are using ASL to sneak messages across the classroom and to gossip about people around them without being caught.

Sign Language has been taught to babies for a few years now. In fact, Coleman is the woman who trained Robert De Niro’s kids in Meet The Fockers.

Now, the kids that learned Sign Language as infants are growing up and using it with friends because, as Coleman points out, it’s easier than inventing a new language and “everybody knows Pig Latin by now.”

Sign Language is catching on with kids who can hear but it’s not just a one-sided exchange.

Coleman says Sign Language is very adaptive to slang and says putting an ‘L’ on the forehead to represent a “loser” is now in the ASL dictionary, as is the “Whatever” hand gesture from the 1995 movie, Clueless.

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