what is the meaning of asl


what is the meaning of asl

American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete and complex visual-spatial language that is used by the deaf and hard of hearing community in the United States and Canada. It is a natural language with its own grammar and syntax, and is the primary means of communication for many people who are unable to hear. ASL is not a universal language, as each country has its own sign language, but it is the most widely used sign language in North America. In this article, we will explore the history, structure, and importance of ASL, and how it has evolved over time.

History of ASL:

The origins of ASL can be traced back to 1817 when Laurent Clerc, a deaf teacher from France, came to the United States with Thomas Gallaudet, a hearing minister. Together, they established the first school for the deaf in Hartford, Connecticut, which is now known as the American School for the Deaf. Clerc brought with him the French Sign Language (LSF), which was used by the deaf community in France at the time, and it became the basis for the development of ASL. However, ASL was not simply a direct translation of LSF, but rather it evolved and adapted to the American culture and language, incorporating elements of Indigenous Sign Languages and the local dialects of the deaf community.

In the mid-19th century, ASL experienced a significant shift as a result of the Milan Conference in 1880. At this conference, it was decided that oral education was the preferred method for teaching the deaf, and sign language was banned from schools. This led to a decline in the use of ASL, as many deaf children were forced to learn spoken English and forbidden from signing. As a result, ASL was driven underground, and many deaf individuals were forced to hide their language and culture.

However, ASL persisted and continued to be used in secret, mainly in deaf communities and families. It wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s, with the emergence of the Deaf Rights Movement, that ASL began to resurface and gain recognition as a legitimate language. The movement fought for the recognition of ASL as a fully-fledged language, and their efforts led to the establishment of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) in 1880, and the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, which recognized ASL as a language and granted deaf individuals equal rights.

Structure of ASL:

ASL is a complex visual language that uses hand gestures, facial expressions, and body movements to convey meaning. It is a rule-governed language with its own unique grammar and syntax, which is different from that of spoken languages. ASL is a spatial language, meaning that the location of the hands and body in relation to the signer is crucial to understanding the meaning of a sign. The dominant hand is used to create the signs, while the non-dominant hand is used to provide additional information such as location, size, and direction.

Like spoken languages, ASL has its own set of phonemes, or basic units of sound, which are produced by handshapes, movements, and locations. There are over 30 basic handshapes in ASL, and they can be combined to create more complex signs. In addition, facial expressions and body movements play a vital role in ASL, as they convey tone, emotion, and emphasis in the language. For example, raising the eyebrows can change a statement into a question, and nodding the head can indicate agreement.

Importance of ASL:

ASL is not just a language; it is a crucial aspect of deaf culture and identity. It is a means of communication that allows deaf individuals to fully participate in society and express themselves. Without ASL, the deaf community would be isolated and excluded from the hearing world. It is estimated that there are over 500,000 deaf individuals who use ASL as their primary means of communication in the United States alone. Therefore, the importance of ASL in the deaf community cannot be overstated.

ASL also plays a significant role in the education of deaf individuals. Studies have shown that deaf children who are exposed to ASL at an early age have better language and cognitive development than those who are not. ASL also provides a foundation for learning written English and other spoken languages, as it allows deaf individuals to understand language structure and grammar.

ASL is also gaining recognition as a foreign language, and many universities and colleges offer ASL courses as part of their language programs. Learning ASL not only promotes linguistic diversity but also creates opportunities for communication and understanding between the deaf and hearing communities. In addition, ASL interpreters are in high demand in many industries, such as education, healthcare, and government, making it a valuable skill to have.

Challenges of ASL:

Despite its importance and growing recognition, ASL still faces challenges and barriers in its use and acceptance. One of the major challenges is the lack of recognition and understanding of ASL by the general public. Many people still view ASL as a simplistic and inferior form of communication, not realizing its complexity and richness as a language. This can lead to discrimination and exclusion of deaf individuals in various aspects of life.

Another challenge is the lack of access to ASL in mainstream education. While ASL is recognized as a language, it is not widely offered in schools as a foreign language option. This means that many hearing individuals do not have the opportunity to learn ASL and communicate with the deaf community. Furthermore, the shortage of qualified ASL interpreters makes it difficult for many deaf individuals to access education, employment, and services.

In recent years, technology has also posed a challenge for ASL. With the rise of video calls and voice recognition software, there is a growing concern that ASL may become obsolete. However, technology can also be used to enhance the use of ASL, such as video relay services that allow deaf individuals to communicate with hearing individuals through an interpreter.


In conclusion, ASL is a complex, natural language that is essential to the deaf community in the United States and Canada. Its history, structure, and importance make it a vital aspect of deaf culture and identity. Despite the challenges it faces, ASL continues to thrive and gain recognition as a legitimate language. As we move towards a more inclusive and diverse society, it is crucial to recognize and appreciate the value and significance of ASL in promoting communication and understanding between the deaf and hearing communities.

worst youtubers that everyone watches

The world of youtube -reviews”>YouTube is a vast one, with millions of creators and channels producing content on a wide range of topics. From beauty and fashion to gaming and comedy, there is something for everyone on this platform. However, with such a large quantity of content, there are bound to be some creators that rise to the top and gain a massive following. These are the “worst” YouTube rs – those who may not have the best content, but have managed to capture the attention of millions of viewers. In this article, we will be exploring some of the worst youtubers that everyone seems to watch.

1. Logan Paul
Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Logan Paul is one of the biggest names on YouTube. With over 20 million subscribers, he has built an empire on vlogging, pranks, and controversy. However, it’s the latter that has earned him the title of one of the worst youtubers. From filming a dead body in Japan’s “suicide forest” to tasering rats, Logan’s stunts often cross the line and leave many questioning his moral compass. Despite the backlash and criticism, his videos continue to rack up millions of views, making him one of the most watched and disliked creators on the platform.

2. Jake Paul

The younger brother of Logan, Jake Paul is another controversial figure on YouTube. With over 19 million subscribers, he rose to fame on the now-defunct app, Vine, and has since made a name for himself on YouTube with his vlogs and music career. However, it’s his antics, which often involve pranks and stunts, that have landed him on the list of worst youtubers. From setting furniture on fire in his pool to throwing parties that disrupt his neighborhood, Jake’s disregard for others has caused many to question his intentions and ethics.

3. Tana Mongeau
Tana Mongeau is a YouTuber known for her storytimes, rants, and wild personality. With over 5 million subscribers, she has gained a massive following, but not without controversy. Tana has been accused of fabricating stories for views and attention, such as her “TanaCon” event, which was marketed as a rival to VidCon but turned out to be a disaster. She has also been involved in drama with other creators, leading many to label her as a “clout chaser” and one of the worst youtubers on the platform.

4. RiceGum
With over 10 million subscribers, RiceGum is a popular YouTuber known for his diss tracks and roasts. However, his content has been called out for being misogynistic and promoting materialism. He often brags about his wealth and objectifies women in his videos, leading many to criticize him for being a bad influence on his young audience. Despite this, his videos continue to gain millions of views, making him one of the worst youtubers that everyone seems to watch.

5. PewDiePie
Felix Kjellberg, better known as PewDiePie, is the most subscribed individual YouTuber with over 104 million subscribers. He rose to fame with his gaming content and has since diversified into commentary, reactions, and memes. However, PewDiePie has been called out for his controversial jokes and use of racial slurs in his videos, leading to him losing sponsorships and facing backlash. While he has apologized and attempted to improve his content, many still consider him to be one of the worst youtubers due to his past actions.

6. Lele Pons
Lele Pons is a social media star who gained popularity on Vine and has since expanded to YouTube, where she has over 17 million subscribers. She is known for her comedy skits and collaborations with other creators. However, her content has been criticized for being repetitive, unfunny, and catering to a younger audience. Many have also accused her of copying ideas and jokes from other creators, leading to her being labeled as one of the worst youtubers in terms of originality and creativity.

7. Miranda Sings
Miranda Sings, the character created by Colleen Ballinger, has over 10 million subscribers on YouTube. Known for her off-key singing, awkward humor, and exaggerated makeup, Miranda has gained a cult following. However, her content has faced criticism for being offensive and promoting negative stereotypes. She has also been accused of using her character to bully and harass other creators, leading many to view her as one of the worst youtubers in terms of behavior and content.

8. James Charles
James Charles is a beauty YouTuber with over 25 million subscribers. He rose to fame for his makeup tutorials and collaborations with other creators. However, James has faced backlash for his behavior, including making inappropriate comments and using his platform to manipulate and bully others. He has also been accused of using his sexuality as a shield to excuse his actions, leading many to view him as one of the worst youtubers in terms of accountability and responsibility.

9. Onision
Onision, whose real name is Gregory Jackson, is a controversial YouTuber with over 2 million subscribers. He is known for his dark humor and satirical videos but has faced criticism for his treatment of women and minors. He has been accused of grooming and manipulating underage girls, as well as making inappropriate comments and jokes about sensitive topics. Despite numerous controversies and backlash, Onision has managed to maintain a loyal fanbase, making him one of the worst youtubers that everyone seems to watch.

10. DaddyOFive

DaddyOFive, a channel run by Michael and Heather Martin, featured pranks and challenges involving their children. However, their videos were met with outrage and accusations of child abuse, leading to the channel being taken down and the couple losing custody of two of their children. While they have since apologized and attempted to make amends, many still view them as one of the worst youtubers for exploiting and endangering their children for views and likes.

In conclusion, YouTube has its fair share of creators who have gained massive followings despite their controversial and questionable actions. While some may argue that any publicity is good publicity, it’s important to remember that these creators have a significant influence on their audience, especially young viewers. As consumers of content, it’s crucial to be critical and mindful of the creators we support and the messages they promote. It’s also essential for YouTube as a platform to hold its creators accountable and promote responsible and ethical content creation. Until then, the worst youtubers will continue to thrive and gain millions of views, leaving us to question the impact of their influence.

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