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American Sign Language:  "use"


This sign "USE" reminds me of the sign "WORK."  Sort of an initialized version.  Except I generally do the sign work with palm-side of my left hand facing a little more backwards or upwards.  
For the sign "USE," the base of the dominant "U"-hand comes down on the back or side of the base "S"-hand.   This sign is relatively flexible. For example, if you use a relaxed base-hand instead of an "s" hand--nobody cares.  Heck, half the time you just get rid of the left hand altogether and draw two small circles in the air with the "U"-hand.

Sample sentence, "Do you use deodorant?"
(I get asked this a lot)

The phrase "use to" has a couple of different interpretations, for example, consider the sentence: "I used to use deodorant, but now I'm used to the smell."  (Heh.) The first part ("I used to...") would be interpreted as "PAST."  The second part "use deodorant" can actually drop the sign "use" because the sign "deodorant" implies rubbing it on or "using it." The last part of the sentence ("...I'm used to the smell") would be interpreted as "HABIT" which is to say, I've become "accustomed to" the smell.
So the whole sentence would look like: "I PAST DEODORANT, BUT NOW I HABIT SMELL."  Of course you would modify the sign "SMELL" with the appropriate facial expression, you would also modify the sign HABIT a bit by perhaps starting with open lose hands that change into "S" hands as the sign progresses downward.




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