Bar Code Creates Hipster Sign Language

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Here's a weird one. Sinless gets behind Bar Code designs, an odd project in which people can flirt and hook up with a form of sign language for those too cool - or simply too lame - to talk or offer to buy somebody a drink.

Bar Code sends registered users a new sign to learn every week or so. We registered for the list but are thus far pretty skeptical. It reminds us a little of Esperanto, that experiment in universal language that was supposed to bring cosmopolitan travelers together but is mainly utilized by awkward people trying to shortcut learning an actual native tongue.

Dissemination of the hipster signs depends on word of mouth but we don't see it working unless a critical mass is already out there using it. Otherwise those willing to get savvy will just be out there with limbs akimbo, monkeying an artificial social langue only they and maybe five other people in the universe understand, which gives us something new to laugh about, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. For us, anyway.

by Angela Natividad    Jan-22-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Human, Online, Strange   

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Comments



Comments

Esperanto, an experiment? I don't call an active, living language used by several million people an experiment. I wouldn't call projects that successfully reunite families torn apart by war an experiment. Esperanto is not an experiment. It is being used successfully like one would use any other useful language. A true, cultural language that has such a body of users and established literature is not just an experiment.
- Phil Dorcas

Posted by: Phil Dorcas on January 22, 2007 9:44 PM

Phil Dorcas could not have said it better.

Mi esperas, ke CHIU lernos Esperanto-n.
I hope that EVERYONE will-learn Esperanto:

The foreign language that WORKS! - Worldwide.

Vilchjo de Mesao Arizono, Usono.

Posted by: Vilchjo de Mesao, Arizono on January 22, 2007 10:01 PM

I'm not knocking Esperanto, but:

* You can't deny it's artificial rather than organic

* How many people speak it as their first language?

PS These bar hipster signs are doomed ;-)

Posted by: Barrie Williams on January 23, 2007 4:31 AM

To answer Barrie Williams:

1. What do you mean by "organic"? Esperanto evolves. It was created by one person, true, but it's been spoken for over a century, and is not the same as it was a century ago. In that way it is "organic" just like national languages (which were also created by people, just longer ago). Who cares if it's "artificial"? All national languages are also fundamentally artificial (made by people, just longer ago than Esperanto was). So is music and art and computer technology. Does that make them bad?

2. Several thousand speak Esperanto as a first language. Usually they are children of Esperantists from different countries who fell in love and had children. Again, though, I wonder why it matters how many people speak it as a first language. What matters is whether it works as a language, and if it's easier to learn than national languages. (Yes and yes.)

Obviously Esperanto is different from national languages, but so what? It is nonetheless a real language that many people use. I'm an American; my girlfriend is Polish; Esperanto is our primary everyday language. Our relationship would not have been possible if not for Esperanto.

Posted by: russ on January 23, 2007 6:24 AM

Well, if you call a train an artificial horse perhaps it is an artificial language

Posted by: Vilchjo de Mesao, Arizono on January 23, 2007 10:28 AM

Well, if you call a train an artificial horse perhaps it is an artificial language.

Posted by: Vilchjo de Mesao, Arizono on January 23, 2007 10:29 AM

Holy shit, now I'm beginning to think the Esperantists are part of a cult, too. "Esperatnto is ALIVE! BLASPHEMER!" Here's a tip: most Americans don't give a damn about other languages, or preachiness. So learn some bar code and get drunk and laid for crying out loud and leave the rest of us to our cultural self-absorption...

Posted by: daveednyc on January 23, 2007 10:53 AM

Holy shit, now I'm beginning to think the Esperantists are part of a cult, too.

If you publish something on the Net why reminding its errors make you so angry. Esperantist are not part of a cult. They like learn you the facts. It's all! Now you can stay in your cultural self-absorption! It's up to you!!

Posted by: Behrouz on January 25, 2007 1:16 AM

Holy shit, now I'm beginning to think the Esperantists are part of a cult, too.

If you publish something on the Net why reminding its errors make you so angry. Esperantists are not part of a cult. They like learn you the facts. It's all! Now you can stay in your cultural self-absorption! It's up to you!!

Posted by: Behrouz on January 25, 2007 1:17 AM

Bar Code is really fun and it works, I have tried it. It is also featured in Time Out Magazine this week.http://www.timeoutny.com/newyork/Details.do?page=1&xyurl=xyl://TONYWebArticles1/598/dating/hand_jive.xml

Posted by: daisy on March 16, 2007 12:13 PM

Bar Code is really fun and it works, I have tried it. It is also featured in Time Out Magazine this week.http://www.timeoutny.com/newyork/Details.do?page=1&xyurl=xyl://TONYWebArticles1/598/dating/hand_jive.xml

Posted by: daisy on March 16, 2007 12:14 PM





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