Yes, we’re aware of the complete irony of the title. But deaf people cannot hear! Har har, very funny and how original.
Deaf people come from various backgrounds, but there are several things deaf people can unanimously agree on — they’re tired of the same dumb stuff people say to them all the time. While there’s nothing wrong with asking questions, there is a fine line between good questions and stupid comments. Here are 16 things deaf people are sick of hearing.
1. “Do you read braille?”
Unfortunately, this question is quite common for deaf people. No matter how many times deaf people are asked, they never get used to this one. If you still don’t understand why this is a stupid question, we’ll give you a moment to figure it out.
2. “Oh you’re deaf? IT’S…VERY….NICE…TO…MEET YOU! HOW ARE YOU?!”
We’re deaf, so yelling at us doesn’t do anything (other than make you look like a moron). Most deaf people are natural lip-readers, so speak naturally. Don’t over-exaggerate your words, or raise your voice and talk to us like we’re mentally challenged. THANKS…BUT…NO…THANKS!
3. “I’ll pray for you”
This is the last thing to tell deaf people, no matter how good your intentions are. Most deaf people don’t view their own deafness as a flaw or feel the need to be “cured.” You’d be surprised to find that most deaf people are fairly comfortable with being deaf; if anything, being deaf can be a blessing in disguise (we don’t have to listen to you after all, do we?).
4. “Teach me something dirty in sign language!”
Deaf people are not here to amuse or entertain you. Sign language is not a cutesy language to giggle and laugh at over the “silly” signs. You want something dirty? Go jump in a pig’s trough.
5. “You inspired me to learn sign language”
Whenever deaf people hear this, they try to refrain from eye-rolling. Sign language takes real commitment to learn and cannot be picked up overnight. If you say this to a deaf person, mean it. This isn’t a language to learn from a book. Enroll in sign language courses (for a few years at least), and attend deaf social events to practice your signing. Otherwise, it will be all talk and no action (literally).
6. “Why do you speak funny?”
Deaf or not, why in the world would you ask anyone this? Seriously, what’s wrong with you?
7. “You can drive? But what about ambulances?”
Again, deaf people are not blind. In fact, studies have shown that deaf people are safer drivers than hearing people due to deaf people’s alertness and quicker motor reflexes. As for ambulances, usually deaf people will detect the lights flashing or notice other cars are moving to the side and take that as a cue. We’re smarter than you think!
8. “My neighbor’s brother is deaf — you two would make a cute couple!”
Do not attempt to play matchmaker unless you’re heavily involved with the deaf community. Just because you’ve randomly met two deaf people in your entire life doesn’t mean the two are destined for each other. How do you know that they have anything in common other than their deafness? Matchmaker, matchmaker, please don’t make them a match.
9. “You’re really reading my lips? Like…right now?”
Because it’s magic! Not really, no. Deaf people are constantly amazed of people’s inability to comprehend that we can read lips. And it’s really not rocket science compared to speaking. Lip-reading comes naturally for most deaf people. Don’t ask us how we learned to lip read either. We don’t ask you how you learned to talk, do we?
10. “If you’re deaf, how are you speaking?”
Even nowadays, people are still surprised to find out that some deaf people can speak. Unlike many movie portrayals of deaf-mutes with sad confused looks on their faces, many deaf people learned to speak orally with the help of hearing devices and speech therapy. Don’t ask non-speaking deaf people why they don’t speak either — not every deaf person has the same background or privileges. Some deaf people even prefer not to bother with speaking.
11. “Sign language is so beautiful”
How do you know deaf people are not talking about their bowel movements while you’re watching them?
12. “I don’t know how you do it, I would kill myself”
This implies that deaf people are poor, unfortunate souls who are forever doomed to silence. We don’t know how you lived this long with that brain of yours either.
13. “I’d rather be blind than be deaf”
Go ahead, help yourself to the sharpened pencils and bottled acid.
14. “How do you live without music?”
While this isn’t the most stupid question deaf people face, it shouldn’t be hard to understand that some people have no concept of music and don’t know what you’re talking about. Deaf people without hearing devices find comfort in feeling music through vibration (and it’s catchy!). Not to mention, some deaf people can hear music with hearing devices, so they’re not living without music.
15. “Can you read and write?”
Deafness does not equal learning disability. We cannot hear, period. Assuming that deaf people are automatic idiots is very hurtful and you should be very embarrassed for yourself.
16. “Is it true what they say about deaf girls in bed?”
Not even dignifying this with an answer.