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Natural Language of the Hand

When lost for words, we point, wave, motion and otherwise use our hands to attempt to indicate meaning. John Bulwer (1606 – 1656), an English doctor and philosopher, attempted to record the vocabulary contained in hand gestures and bodily motions and, in 1644, published Chirologia, or the Natural Language of the Hand, an illustrated collection of hand and finger gestures that were intended for an orator to memorise and perform whilst speaking. In 2021 Bart de Baets designed this Praat met de hand stamp sheet . The title of this new issue is taken from the expression 'talk to the hand' ('cause the face ain't listening). The origin of this expression comes from the US TV series 'Martin'. The meaning is that the person using the expression does not want to listen to the other. Since then, 'talk to the hand' has become part of street slang, street culture and queer culture.

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