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Sign Language

Scientists are always trying to develop special languages to talk with dolphins and gorillas, to make Flipper and Koko understand human conversation through a series of clicks, whistles, and pictograms. Now some people are trying to do the same with babies, designing a sign-language technique specifically for communicating with infants. The rationale behind this? That if babies are grumpy, it’s only because they’re not adequately understood. This strikes me as comical. There must be some evolutionary reason why babies don’t speak; maybe it’s so they’ll get frustrated with their limited communication skills and learn how to talk. In any case, even when babies do learn this new sign language, they appear to say roughly one thing: “Feed me!” Gee, who’d have guessed?