Sunday, April 11, 2010

Question.

Kallie is deaf. I represent any dialogue in sign language with italics.

The question is: How's aboot lip reading? I'm leaning toward "quotes" because the words are spoken; Kallie just can't hear them. Or do italics make more sense?


Appa says he loves you.



Edit: Kallie's POV is in second person. Here's an example of what a passage would look like with lip reading magic in italics, then the same passage with "quotes." Which one looks better/reads easier/is less confusing?


Red's jumping up and down in the bathroom. You can feel it underfoot. He's got himself twisted around so his ass is facing the mirror and his neck is cranked around as far as it will go.

You lean against the doorway. Yes, they make your ass look fat.

"Good," he mouths and stops jumping. "Wait." Fat like I got a little junk in the trunk fat, or fat like I got a whole bunch of illegal aliens back there and I'm trying to sneak them across the border fat?

Regard him curiously. How much are you charging them?

Nothing. But! But they're paying for gas.

Roll your eyes. As long as they're paying for gas.


OR


Red's jumping up and down in the bathroom. You can feel it underfoot. He's got himself twisted around so his ass is facing the mirror and his neck is cranked around as far as it will go.

You lean against the doorway. Yes, they make your ass look fat.

Good, he mouths and stops jumping. Wait. Fat like I got a little junk in the trunk fat, he signs, or fat like I got a whole bunch of illegal aliens back there and I'm trying to sneak them across the border fat?

Regard him curiously. How much are you charging them?

Nothing. But! But they're paying for gas.

Roll your eyes. As long as they're paying for gas.


Edit 2: AND WHAT ABOUT CLOSED CAPTIONING? AAARGH

As a placeholder I'm using these things right now: []. Like, [Diane, I'm standing outside the Park Barrington Hotel because they don't allow Asians inside.] Better options? Should I stick with italics? I hate this.


Edit 3: SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS EVERYBODY

15 comments:

  1. Ohhh my goodness that's the cutest picture ever.

    I think if you make it clear that she's lip reading, putting quotes is fine.

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  2. See, and I'd say italics because whether its sign or lip reading (or both as it usually is) it's how she takes in information.... so by that standard she always takes communication in in italics? I think it's also less confusing to the reader. Or it'd be less confusing for me..as a reader... But if other people are in the room and it's regular dialogue it can be in quotes. I don't even know what voice you're writing in.... so maybe my opinion isn't very valid....

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  3. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    I like it both ways. I mean, maybe I'm being to literal but when it comes to communicating directly with someone who is deaf I feel lipreading and sign are interchangeable (if they're good at it) and so I'm not sure of the value of the distinction in a personal conversation like the one you posted. BUT if she's in a group of people and they are all talking and she has to lipread and then someone turns to her and tries to include her directly in the conversation by signing, I feel there is a good distinction to be made via putting the people's conversation in quotes and then what is signed directly to her in italics.... but also then I think you lose the concept of being left out, or that she can't hear it (even if you say that she only read it)... because the reader has no problem with the dialogue. So maybe an interesting tactic would be her getting bits and pieces of what people say in italics...particularly since everything is SO in her point of view. Does this make sense at all? I keep going back and forth. Also if you have to distinguish every time you have quotes whether it's signed, or she reads it.... It might get repetitive? I think the lack of quotes emphasizes that her world is silent.

    I think the answer will come to you when you continue writing it. There will be a way that just sounds better (for lack of a better word) or flows more easily. But there's my 45 cents.

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  4. Only 45 cents? You have to deposit at least 50 cents when you post here.

    Lip reading and sign aren't really interchangeable. Sign is super duper easier to understand, and lip reading requires certain requirements to even be effective, like good lighting and/or (apparently) a lack of fantastic mustaches. Plus, lip reading in a group would be extremely difficult because she wouldn't know who was going to talk next. She could miss half the sentence before she figures it out.

    Kallie isn't very good at lip reading. So if she makes a mistake (obviously, I did not include this in the example because I am retarded), it might be easier on the reader if they understand anything in quotes in Kallie's POV might not be totally correct. I think? Like:

    You read his lips. Hi. I lick your boobs.

    Raise an eyebrow.

    He said, I like your moves, Red signs.

    If the reader already understands quotes mean lip reading, I can lose the "You read his lips" part. If I use italics, I just have to make sure to indicate to the reader what exactly is going on.

    "I lick your boobs."

    Raise an eyebrow.

    You look like Spock when you do that, Red signs.

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  5. I think you do make a good point about losing "the concept of being left out." Which is why I'm not a huge fan of quotes. But it seems the way to go? I guess? I dunno.

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  6. Yeah, I mean I really have pros and cons of both ways. But if everything from her point of view is either lipreading or sign (as it would be in this voice?) then I agree that quotes + italics is the most functional. It makes a lot more sense to me after that example. You're awesome and smart :) :)

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  7. No, YOU'RE awesome and smart <3

    Yeah, you're right. It's more functional, as long as the reader understands the distinction.

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  8. TC Boyle's book Talk Talk has a deaf main character. I don't remember how he did it, but it was good!

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  9. Hello, wonders of technology. I took a peak at Talk Talk via Amazon.com's Look Inside!, and the main character seems to use italics when she lip reads. Unfortunately, Look Inside! only has the first six pages so I don't know how sign is expressed. Nor captions. But wow, those first six pages were pretty vivid. Next time I go to the mall (or liburry) I'll have to pick it up. Thanks!

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  10. captions make me think of telepathy or something. Quotes say "hey, someone's talking!".

    Shots!

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  11. You mean thought-speak! [] are Animorphs-y. I'm going with italics for now. But that could always change...

    SHOTS

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  12. SO, I have this friend. He has a blog. It's usually very entertaining. BUT HE NEVER UPDATES IT. which lends me to think he is lame... or slacking.

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  13. Hmm. I dunno. He sounds pretty sexy and charming to me. Equal only to Michelangelo's David in physical perfection, but far surpassing him in penis size. Humble, too.

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  14. he gives off that vibe, but he's so mysterious. I doubt we'll ever know. I'll ask him when he watches Dr. Who with me tomorrow night.

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