Stránka:book 1913.djvu/255

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Signaling and Indian Signs 233 It makes it possible to talk to a deaf person. It is a wonderful developer of observation. It is a simple means of talking to an Indian or a Scout of another nationality whose language you do not imderstand. This indeed is its great merit. It is universal. It deals not with words but with ideas that are common to all mankind. It is therefore a kind of Esperanto already established. So much for its advantages; what are its weaknesses? Let us frankly face them: It is useless in the dark; It will not serve on the telephone; It can scarcely be written; In its pure form it will not give new proper names. To meet the last two we have expedients, as will be seen, but the first two are insurmoimtable difl&culties. Remember then you are to Ifearn the Sign Language be- cause it is silent, far-reaching, and the one universal language. Since it deals fundamentally with ideas, we avoid words and letters, but for proper names it is very necessary to know the one-hand manual alphabet, For numbers we use the fingers, as probably did the ear- liest men who coimted. Yes. The sign for "yes" is so natural that one can see it instinctively made if we offer food to a hungry baby. That is simply a nod. That is if you are near, but far off, make your right hand with all fingers closed except index and thumb which are straight and touching at top, advance, bend toward the left side as though bowing, then returned and straight again. No. This also is a natural sign, we can see it if we offer bitter medicine to a baby. The sign for "No," when near, is shake the head; but, when too far for that to be seen, hold the closed right hand in front of the body, then sweep it