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Facial-tic based language

Talk with your face, using various twitches to stand in for vowels and consonants
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Bearing in mind humans' proven capacity for both spoken and signed language, mixed with our dozens of specialized facial muscles, I say it's time to take language to the next level by coming up with a language whereby people simply twitch parts of their faces in complex combinations to send a message, letting their vocal chords relax and their arms rest gently at their sides. Like, a Billy Idol upper-lip nod could stand in for a vowel or two (depending on the side of the mouth) a wink could cover a couple of consonants, a crunched nose a diphthong, etc. The biggest drawback I could see would be that it would likely aggrevate the natural wrinkling process. But notice that a facial-tic based language would be ideal when interlocaturs find themselves overwhelmed by some ambient noise and with their hands full. This would also allow deaf couples to hold hands while sharing in an intimate discussion.

(I first posted this as "Facial-tick based language" and was promptly and repeatedly alerted to my wayward spelling.)

Arby, Oct 19 2003

I think they are trying to tell me something... http://www.evtv1.co....aspx?itemnum=14709
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Mar 10 2011]

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       //aggrevate the natural wrinkling process//   

       Perhaps the opposite would be true. A Be-Witched- type twitching of the nose might indicate a mild wish from an eighteen-year-old, but, given the amount of extra facial baggage that flops around when a seventy-year-old makes the same facial statement, surely that would give their subtle statement extra weight?
lostdog, Oct 19 2003
  

       I remember this being used in a book once...a long time ago, I can't remember the author (I think it was Alan Dean Foster). One of the main characters was a woman with an extra elbow on each arm and used a blowgun...That's all I remember. One problem I have with the idea is that continous movements like this will tire anyone out pretty quickly until they get used to it - also when they are still practising (which could take a fair while) some repeated movements can trigger off small spasms which could be mistranslated(at least they do for me...). But we don't seem to have a problem with typos or slurring/stuttering etc, so I guess this would be overcome easily
inc_b, Oct 19 2003
  

       Lostdog, I'm talking about facial twitches functioning like phonemes (and not as symbols of emotions). So, an old floppy nose would be like a low voice: Sure, it would make each speaker unique but it shouldn't change the meaning of an utterance. For the record, I should report that I have just tried translating my original proposal into a hypothetical facial-tic based language and I got a cheek cramp.
Arby, Oct 23 2003
  

       Instead of machine vision for facial tick recognition which would be fairly computationaly heavy, why not just dump the idea and use subvocalisation for input? grunts, groans, gargaling, humming and clicks to convey a conversation to the computer without others necessarily being aware of it.... or if they are they'll think you mad.... just as if your face was ticking every few seconds....
darkflib, Oct 23 2003
  

       Good spelling can be so important. Could you, by any chance, be thinking of a language where people communicate by means of facial *tics*?   

       The thought of facial *ticks* makes me feel faintly nauseous. Some of the above comments may now become a little clearer.
st3f, Oct 23 2003
  

       Ok, ok: 'tic' not 'tick'. But, really, how petty. Come on, let's be done with written/spoken/signed languages already. Everybody just sit back, relax, and start ticing!
Arby, Oct 23 2003
  

       It's all part of the nerdy fun, [Arby].
half, Oct 23 2003
  

       [Raises left eyebrow.]
DrCurry, Oct 23 2003
  

       //But, really, how petty.//   

       That's spelled: pretty.   

       Truthfully [Andy], there would be so many times when I'd feel too tired for facial gyrations and wouldn't enunciate clearly enough for the people around me. You just try wriggling your face for a solid five minutes and then tell me this is a good idea. Not to mention whispering is right out. This idea falls short of my standards.
k_sra, Oct 23 2003
  

       Um ... you've got a bandwidth problem there, and a fatigue one soon thereafter. Unlike my eyelids and nostrils, my lips and tongue can be moved tiny distances with big results, at wicked speeds, with millisecond timing, for hours on end. This gives ordinary speech a huge edge. Facial tics just can't measure up. Now as to groans and hums for communication, dig out your old copy of Dune and have a look at Count and Lady Fenring. Realistically, this has probably got some bandwidth problems too. It might be useful as an adjunct to regular speech, where the speech stream is a code and the hum stream tells how to transform the speech.
eritain, Nov 12 2003
  

       check mate!
po, Jan 24 2004
  

       Great lost idea. I see this as something to augment sign language. Have a kind of shorthand of sign language using the face mixing in some words by lip reading but with very exaggerated lip movements. We already do this to some extent. Loose the phonetic spelling part though, just expand on facial expression we already have.   

       - Wink (hey hottie, let's hook up) - Nod and look in a particular direction (it's over there) - Wrinkle up nose (Ooo, gross) - Arch eyebrows (Hey, I'm going to say something) - Shake or nod head (no, yes) - Head cocked to one side (hu?)   

       Add:   

       - Moving head in a circular motion (crazy) - Pursing lips twice (dog-woof woof) - Puffing cheeks out (fat)   

       So "Hey, I saw a fat dog" would be arch eyebrows, look down at yourself bug your eyes out puff your cheeks and purse your lips twice in an exaggerated woof woof motion.   

       This would have to be used sparingly though because you'd look pretty goofy. Maybe just when your hands are full.
doctorremulac3, Mar 10 2011
  
      
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