But it is not (usually) the ideas of philosophers that change reality; nor, conversely, is it the practice of ordinary people. What changes history, what kindles revolutions, is the meeting of the two. A lofty mind — that of the Abbe de l’Epee — had to meet a humble usage — the indigenous sign language of the poor deaf who roamed Paris — in order to make possible a momentous transformation. If we ask why this meeting had not occurred before, it has something to do with the vocation of the Abbe, who could not bear to think of the souls of the deaf-mute living and dying unshriven,
Some extra, special prayers had been added to the service. At one point, where there is a communal atonement, of the form ‘We have done this, we have done that; we have sinned through doing this, we have sinned through doing that…‘ an extra ‘sin’ was added: ‘We have sinned through being impatient with the hearing when they failed to understand us.’ And an extra prayer of thanksgiving was thrown in: ‘Thou hast given us hands, that we might create language.’
Deaf depreciation, deaf deference, deaf passivity, and even deaf shame were all too common before the early 1970’s; one sees this, very clearly, in the 1970 novel by Joanne Greenberg, In This Sign — and it took Stokoe’s dictionary, and the legitimation of Sign by linguists, to allow the beginnings of a movement in the opposite direction, a movement toward deaf identity and deaf pride.
If a deaf person becomes seriously ill, it is crucial to immobilize only one arm with IVs; to immobilize both arms may render him unable to talk. Similarly, it is often not realized that to handcuff a deaf signer is equivalent to gagging him.
ясно, что реальность не «даётся» нам, мы должны сами ее строить, причем строить нашим особым способом. Строя свою реальность, мы руководствуемся нашей культурой и правилами того мира, в котором живем. Естественно, наш язык будет воплощать в себе взгляды нашего мира- то есть тот способ, каким мы ощущаем и строим реальность.
Именно это - отношение языка к мышлению - составляет глубочайшую, главную проблему, когда мы размышляем о том, с чем сталкивается человек, рожденный глухим или оглохший в раннем возрасте
Yet it is intriguing that a deaf child at four months may make the sign for ‘milk,’ where a hearing child can only cry or look around. Perhaps all babies would be better off knowing a few signs!