Communication via the hands is as old as humanity itself; it’s as much an innate part of our mechanics as is our vocalized speech. As such, it’s sometimes difficult to separate the gestural component from the vocal because they’re so often observed as one combined act. Yet perhaps not too surprisingly, the study of human gestures also has a long history. We know that even as far back as ancient Rome, the use of hand gestures in rhetorical discourse was studied and catalogued because the motion and position of the hands were considered vital to conveying meaning. And of course on a more visceral level, during the same time period, we’re aware of the infamous thumbs up or down gesture used by the crowds in the Roman coliseum to indicate their desire to see a victim spared or killed. . .
Columns and Commentary
Off the Map: Hand gestures
Above excerpt taken from the September 2012 issue of MultiLingual published by MultiLingual Computing, Inc., 319 North First Avenue, Suite 2, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864-1495 USA, 208-263-8178, Fax: 208-263-6310. Subscribe