, deaf Rhodes scholar
, on lipreading: "Even the most skilled lipreaders in English, I have read, can discern an average of 30 percent of what is being said.
I believe this figure to be true. There are people with whom I catch almost every word—people I know well, or who take care to speak at a reasonable rate, or whose faces are just easier on the eyes (for lack of a better phrase). But there are also people whom I cannot understand at all. On average, 30 percent is a reasonable number. But 30 percent is also rather unreasonable. How does one have a meaningful conversation at 30 percent? It is like functioning at 30 percent of normal oxygen, or eating 30 percent of recommended calories—possible to subsist, but difficult to feel at your best and all but impossible to excel." [more inside]
Arika Okrent deconstructs
the signing of interpreter Lydia Callis
to demonstrate how body language and facial expressions are used grammatically in American Sign Language. [more inside]