I've thought this before, but it hit me again this morning. Every Tuesday this summer, I've been helping my dad work on their backyard. Today, we cut big landscape blocks in half. (BTW, 12-inch concrete saw with diamond blade? Awesome.) Being good little workers, we wore safety glasses and earplugs.
Have you ever tried to talk to someone while you're both wearing earplugs? Better yet, while a power saw is running? How much easier would it be if my dad knew sign language?
And that's not the only situation where it would be handy. Other times, my dad's been down in the walkout from the basement while I'm above in the backyard, and the A/C is running nearby. Very hard to hear what he's saying.
Then there's my favorite: restaurants. I love going out with deaf friends and colleagues. Doesn't matter how noisy it gets, conversation is still just as easy to follow. One time, there was a full mariachi band in the room, but we kept chatting away. No problem.
When I'm out with non-signers and the restaurant's noisy/the acoustics are lousy? All I can think is, "If only!"
Oh, and if you make the acquaintance of a deaf person (who signs)? Bonus! Easy communication.
To my international friends, though, sorry. Your sign language isn't my sign language, unless you're in Canada (but not Quebec). Yes, different countries have different sign languages. (I know this is a shocker to some.)
Can you guys think of any situations where it'd be nice if everyone involved knew sign language?