Archive for March, 2000

GGG: Let Your Fingers Do the Talking

As I noted in a previous column, American Sign Language derives from French Sign Language. According to Ethnologue, about fifteen years ago there were between 100,000 and 500,000 speakers of ASL in the US, putting it behind only English, Spanish, Cajun French, Hawai'i Creole English, probably Romani, and possibly Russian in terms of number of […]

FFF: Plow Up Your Soul and Freeze Your Blood

I heard a linguist, John McWhorter, on the radio last week advocating translating Shakespeare. "Well, of course," I thought. "Why would anyone object to translating Shakespeare?" My high school theatre department put on Romeo and Juliet and then took the production to the USSR; late in the trip, we met with a Russian theatre group, […]