Meaning: a telecommunication device that lets Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people use the telephone to communicate in text (English), by typing messages back and forth to one another instead of vocally talking and aural-listening; common use in the 1980s till gradually obsolete from the 2000s or so when videophone emerged.
TDD for Telecommunication Device for the Deaf.
Q: "What is the difference between TTY and TDD?"
Kind of a culture-specific difference. The term TTY (teletyewriter) is commonly used among Deaf people in the Deaf community whereas the term TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf) is generally used by hearing people in services.
A common definition of TTY/TDD involves "a special device." I wouldn't say it's special. It's just some variety of technology that is no more special than a telephone, a smartphone, etc.
"Canadian-born American Deaf inventor William E. Shaw (1869-1949) had invented several things, including clocks, alarms, phones, etc. He had worked for Thomas Edison for half a decade.
Headline: 'Talkless Phone' Invented by Deaf Mute. Story: "One of the most recent devices for use in communication between deaf mutes is a 'talkless phone' that conveys messages by means of an alphabet printed on electric-light bulbs. As the operator presses the keys of a special typewriter wired electrically, the corresponding letters are lighted, spelling out the message." Source
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For best result, enter a short word in the search box, then select the alphetical letter (and page number if needed), and click on the blue link.
Don't forget to click "All" back when you search another word with a different initial letter.
If you cannot find (perhaps overlook) a word but you can still see a list of links, then keep looking until the links disappear! Sharpening your eye or maybe refine your alphabetical index skill. :)
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Grammar: ASL has its own grammar and structure in sentences that works differently from English. For plurals, verb inflections, word order, etc., learn grammar in the "ASL Learn" section. For search in the dictionary, use the present-time verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same. If you look for a plural word, use a singular word.
Inflection: Many ASL words, especially verbs, in the dictionary are a "base"; be aware that many of them are grammatically inflectable within ASL sentences. Some entries have sentence examples.
Variation: Some ASL signs have regional (and generational) variations across North America. Some common variations are included as much as possible, but for specifically local variations, interact with your local community to learn their local variations.
Contextual meaning: Some ASL signs in the dictionary may not mean the same in different contexts and/or ASL sentences. You will see some examples in video sentences.
ASL is very much alive and indefinitely constructable as any spoken language. The best way to use ASL right is to immerse in daily language interactions and conversations with Deaf/Ameslan people (or ASLians).