Hey, I am Coach G! I want to make some points about letter signs. Should you take this too personally? No.
“Letter” Meaning Point 1: I’ve seen that some are afraid of using the sign “letter” because they see it as English. They think, “Oh why don't we, instead of signing “letter”, sign “mail” because both spell the same word, L-E-T-T-E-R." Are you serious? No! Both signs have different meanings. The sign “mail” means an envelop that is licked and shipped. Instead of blindly allowing the sign’s meaning merge and blur, keep our signs separate and diverse! Right? C’mon!
Spelling vs Letter Signs Point 2: I have seen some who are afraid of signing “truck” with the letter “T.” Ironically spelling truck has more letters, T-R-U-C-K, which has five letters. While signing “truck” with “T” only has two letters. 5 vs 2 letters. Do you prefer limiting to only spelling? Seriously? No! Instead of being limited to spelling, the limit should be thrown out the window. Right? C’mon!
Letter Signs into Same Signs Point 3: I have seen that some are afraid of signing “rehab” with the letter “R.” So, they change it and sign “help.” Similarly, the sign “therapy” is changed to the sign “help.” The sign “social work” is also changed to the sign “help.” And they think, “Oh, it’s fine with the context of the sentences.” Do you want signs looking the same? Seriously? No! Not all Deaf people are great at lipreading. And give the DeafBlind a break! Letter signs have benefits! Right? C’mon!
New Letter Signs Point 4: I have seen some who are afraid of accepting newly invented letter signs for words that don’t have a sign. For example the sign “YouTube”, some are afraid to use it because of the letter “Y.” Is it better to be limited to spelling? Seriously? No! Instead of blindly eliminating a letter sign as an option and limiting our handshape choices, be open and creative with new diverse signs, including letter signs. They’re all fine and good! Right? C’mon!
Multiple Signs vs Letter Signs Point 5: I have seen some who are afraid of signing “lunch” with the letter “L”. So, they make the sign longer to sign by changing the sign “lunch” to “eat noon”. Do you prefer to sign longer and lengthier? Seriously? No! Instead of having the letter fear get in your head, go shorter by turning signs into just one sign in order to keep it fast. Gotta be concise! Right? C’mon! In short, letter signs have benefits! Instead of being afraid of letter signs, focus on what is more important in sign language communication. 1. Diverse signs, 2. Easy to sign, and 3. Clear signs. Right? C’mon!