As Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued dire warnings about Irma on Saturday morning, all eyes were transfixed on the theatrical sign language interpreter beside him, stealing the show.
Tongue sticking out, eyes popping and eyebrows rising up and down like a storm surge, the interpreter’s hands flew along in time with Scott’s message, offering a dramatic visual that upstaged the governor’s calm delivery.
Impressed viewers called him “only good thing about” the monster storm threatening nearly all of Florida.
“I don’t understand sign language, but I get this guy’s warning. He’s great!!!!!” said another fan on Facebook.
Some questioned whether he was actually using American Sign Language, and a few critics said he was distracting.
But educators said that using dramatic facial expressions is the “grammar” of ASL, and is how severity is expressed in the silent language — eyes popping conveying the difference between “some flooding” and “severe flooding,” for instance.