Abecedario de Juárez: An Illustrated Lexicon
Julián Cardona and Alice Leora Briggs, with translations by Alice L. Driver; illustrations by Alice Leora Briggs University of Texas Press, 2022 Library of Congress HN120.C85C35 2021 | Dewey Decimal 303.6097644
Southwest Book Awards, Border Regional Library Association (BRLA)
Uses key words and striking images to explore violence and everyday life in Juárez, Mexico.
Juárez, Mexico, is known for violence. The femicides of the 1990s, and the cartel mayhem that followed, made it one of the world's most dangerous cities. Along with the violence came a new lexicon that traveled from person to person, across rivers and borders—wherever it was needed to explain the horrors taking place. From personal interviews, media accounts, and conversations on the street, Julián Cardona and Alice Leora Briggs have collected the words and slang that make up the brutal language of Juárez, creating a glossary that serves as a linguistic portrait of the city and its violence. Organized alphabetically, the entries consist of Spanish and Spanglish, accompanied by short English definitions. Some also feature a longer narrative drawn from interviews—stories that put the terms in context and provide a personal counterpoint to media reports of the same events. Letters, and many of the entries, are supplemented with Briggs’s evocative illustrations, which are reminiscent of Hans Holbein’s famous Alphabet of Death. Together, the words, drawings, and descriptions in ABCedario de Juárez both document and interpret the everyday violence of this vital border city.
This unique reference can help users locate a sign whose meaning they have forgotten, or help them find the meaning of a new sign they have just seen for the first time. It organizes more than 1,900 ASL signs by 40 basic handshapes and includes detailed descriptions on how to form these signs to represent the different English words that they might mean. Users can begin to track down a sign by determining whether it is formed with one hand or two. Further distinctions of handshape, palm orientation, location, movement, and nonmanual signals help them pinpoint their search while also refining their grasp of ASL syntax and grammar. A complete English word index provides the option of referring to an alphabetical listing of English terms to locate an equivalent sign or choice of signs.
This dictionary features:
More than 1,900 sign illustrations, organized by handshape
Complete index of English vocabulary for all signs
An introduction to Deaf culture and ASL structure
The American Sign Language Handshape Dictionary is a one-of-a-kind resource for learning ASL and enhancing communication skills in both ASL and English.
Beginning signers now can improve their recognition of the most commonly used signs with this easy-to-follow handbook. The American Sign Language Handshape Starter illustrates 800 of the most frequently used signs, arranging them by the 40 standard handshapes used in American Sign Language (ASL). Carefully chosen for their common use, the signs also have been organized by day-to-day topics, including food, travel, family, sports, clothing, school terms, time, nature and animals, and many others from everyday conversation. The American Sign Language Handshape Starter begins with a confidence-building introduction to ASL use and structure, and tips on basic signing. It also provides a simple guide to finding signs that are either new or familiar to learn their meanings. With the Handshape Starter, new signers, their teachers, and their parents will find improvement in ASL to be faster and even more enjoyable.
In the spirit of Voltaire—and occasionally in the spirit of P. G. Wodehouse—P. B. and J. S. Medawar have crafted for the life sciences a source of reference that is meant for browsing, a book both authoritative and filled with delights. The authors’ breadth of knowledge is encyclopedic— arranged, appropriately enough, from A to Z—but more than that, they illuminate the ideas of biology with wit and intelligence and uncommon good sense. They bridge the chasm in our culture between the technically and the humanistically trained, breaking the code of jargon that limits access to scientific understanding. The Medawars’ special gift is to offer, at the same time, a pleasurable introduction for the layman and a source of new insight for the specialist.
In this book we can find a clear and meaningful definition of interferon, a useful explanation of the immune system, and thoughtful essays on sociobiology, eugenics, and aging. But we also find: “It is a popular fallacy that chewing gum regains its flavor if removed from the mouth and parked, say, under a chair.”
Whether in a serious discussion of cancer or a whimsical reflection on “chicken and egg” imagery in science, the Medawars’ blend of fact, literary allusion, historical anecdote, mythical and folk tradition, and even professional gossip is a rewarding exercise in biology as a humanistic endeavor.