Originally Posted by asongofhands
Somewhat new signer, why?
It really depends on the situation. If you randomly approach a deaf person and as an obvious newbie, sign to them, they are going to assume you're just excited to show off what little ASL you know.
I mean, if a total stranger comes up to me in a shopping mall and the only words he knew in English is "hi, how are you" - I'm going to say "fine" and move on. I'm going to be weirded out by a stranger coming up to me just for the sake of saying hi in what little english he knows and wondering why this stranger felt compelled to approach me just to say that.
It's the same for the deaf who are approached by hearie ASL newbies.