Language is used as a way to communicate one’s thoughts and feelings to others in order to achieve an understanding of a problem or situation. There are many different languages, but they are all used for the same purpose which is, “that language enables us to express our wishes, feelings, likes, dislikes and ideas” (Evans). One language in particular, sign language, is a more unusual, but crucial, way of communicating. This language, used for the hearing impaired, uses hand motions and symbols to convey the point a person is trying to make. American Sign Language, or ASL, “is a language completely separate and distinct from English. It contains all the fundamental features of language, with its own rules for pronunciation, word formation, and word order” (American Sign Language). Though ASL uses English words, the way the words are put together to create a sentence is different from the way English speakers form sentences. It has become more difficult for the hearing impaired to read one’s lips to communicate, with the recent use of masks, so ASL has grown in use. When speaking to someone, language, “involves a process of transmission by the speaker, and decoding and interpretation by the hearer” (Evans). Because of this it is also difficult for those who use sign language to use drive throughs. Some companies, such as Starbucks, have put cameras by the speaker when ordering and have certified their workers who are able to understand sign language, for the convenience of the hard of hearing customers. Overall, the development and recognition of sign language over the past few years has had a positive impact on the communication of those who are hearing impaired.
“American Sign Language.” National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication
Disorders, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 5 Nov. 2020,
Evans, Vyvyan. “What Do We Use Language For?” Psychology Today, Sussex
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