You will be shown sign variations in the following chapters. Many variations come from regional differences. Sign variations also occur when older signs are reformatted to improve their delivery and make them more expedient. New signs are also developed in order to keep pace with technology.
Early signed communication is depicted in prehistoric cave drawings. These drawings demonstrate that primitive humans were using gestures as a form of communication. In general, just as with all languages, normal changes occur over time. Therefore, be aware that the images shown throughout this book are basic signs. In order to be a good signer, you must be flexible and understand that there can be a variety of ways to form a sign. Presently, “e-mail” is on the top of the list. In this chapter, you will learn two forms for this sign, generic and initialized. In Chapter 15, you will find additional versions for “e-mail.”
E-MAIL: Pass your right extended index finger through the upheld left “C” hand. This variation is generic.
E-MAIL: Form an “E” with your right hand, and form a “C” with your left hand. The “E” hand represents the e-mail. The “C” hand represents the computer. Slide your “E” hand through your “C” hand away from you for outgoing e-mail and toward you for incoming e-mail. This variation is initialized.