29 JANUARY 1927, Page 16

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,-I began to learn

lip-reading before I went deaf twenty eight years ago. I could always read my mother as she spoke slowly and naturally and did not make faces. One gets rather fascinated with the way people screw up their. noses and pull faces when trying to lip-read something. Also I was at first very nervous, and the slightest shade of annoyances put me off. But one soon learns patience in teaching where the deaf arc concerned.

I realized people .must always sit with the light on their faces, though I can lip-read if they talk sideways so that the light passes through the mouth so to speak. Much is said with the tongue ; and one has to go by the sense. Names puzzle me :—" Maude," " Rome," " apple fritters," so I get them to say, " its a name."

r am told people shout at the when lip-reading, but really

it is a case of " whisper and I shall hear ! " Also, it has a fascination for some trying to make one see, and they in- variably say, " I can't think how you do it." Occasionally for fun I lip-read something probably not said. It has looked comic, as Ithmour is a great ail. Secret conversations and messages have I had, too. I always tell everyone I am deaf, it saves apparent rudeness. I also ask porters, police, speak slaWly, and I invariably get great kindness when I say I am trying to see what you say by your lips."

My mother many years ago made me realize also my eyes were my ears, so I am told I don't possess the vague look of the deaf, and most people remark this. I yet hope to be the old lady who lip-reads everyone, and not that tiresome, deaf old