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Off topic: What kinds of myths or facts have you all heard regarding left-handedness?
Thread poster: yolanda Speece
yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:06
English to Spanish
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Jan 7, 2008

A few facts I have found interesting is that most of the Native Americans were lefthanded(3 out of 5).

Most of the tools created by primitive man were ambidextrious so that the could be utilized by either hand.

The Romans were the ones that frowned upon lefthandedness which is why left handedness is referred to as sinister.

FORCING a left handed person to write with their right hand could cause stuttering.

The majority of the space program were left handed. As a matter of fact, a large portion of the people that work for NASA are left handed.

I also found it interesting that it has been said that there more male left handers than female left handers. Well according to a study I read, don't ask me which but I remember this distinctly, it stated that sometime during the pregnancy, the expectant mother experiences a hormonal spike in testosterone and that this is when left handedness is created. I don't know the truth to this but it would explain the ratio of boys to girls who are left-handed.

To the ladies who are left handed, have people ever commented on how you look at things?
I have had several women tell me that I take on too much of a male perspective on things.
This is a little personal and may be TOO MUCH INFORMATION for some but I have had several men comment on my perspective regarding sex. I have been told that I view sex much like a man does.
It never made sense to me before until I read this article.

I really can't comment on the male side regarding this issue but I guess the question would be have people commented on you being more of a man than most men? Are you sometimes too much of a man for some women and men?


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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:06
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French to English
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A couple of observations Jan 7, 2008

just to correct one of your remarks: 'sinister' means 'left' in Latin, and it was the fear of left-handed people that gave us the modern meaning of the word as 'something to be feared' — i.e. not the other way round, as your post seemed to imply.

I can't say I've ever noticed a left-handed woman being more masculine (certainly not my sister!) — but 2 of the gay guys I know happen to be left-handed, so that might mean something!

Being forced to write and knit right-handedly certainly didn't make my sister stutter — but it did make her detest knitting!

I am fairly ambidextrous about many things — I wonder what that says about me, then?


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yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:06
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Bonjour Tony! Merci pour le contribution! Jan 7, 2008

The book I read implied that this is where the link between sinister and the issue with left handedness came from. I was just repeating what I read which is why the Romans frowned upon left-handedness. Although it was something to be feared the Romans instead oppressed it within their culture.

Do those two gay gentlemen you know happen to be the more masculine homosexual or are they fairly effeminate?


Regarding your sister, was she forced? If she was forced, did she give in or was she defiant?

According to the book I was reading, it stated that oftentimes when being forced to change hands and it proves to be a traumatic experience (maybe because the force was complemented with abuse, possibly verbal or physical), it can cause the stuttering.


So are your friends translators/interpreters? What about your sister?

By the way, I love the hair color? Is it still that color?! What is it called?



Au revoir, monsieur,
Yola

[Edited at 2008-01-07 21:22]


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:06
Spanish to English
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stuttering? that's a new one on me... Jan 7, 2008

I have never heard of this before: if you force a left-hander to write with his/her right hand, it will cause stuttering.

What I HAVE HEARD about this is the following: for left-handed people, their co-ordination is controlled by the right side of the brain;

For the vast majority of people, i.e. right-handers, their co-ordination is controlled by the LEFT side of their brain;

If you try to interfere with this process, e.g. by forcing to write with the other hand (you never hear of right-handed people being forced to write with their left hand, do you?!!) then it could cause a form of brain damage.

Since I am not a doctor, I have no way of corroborating this. But that is what I have read. Possibly for this reason the older practice of tying a person's (left) hand behind their back to 'encourage' the right hand to write instead was abandoned as a form of cruel and degrading treatment (I would call it "sinistrism").


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
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Member (2003)
German to English
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What a revelation Jan 7, 2008

yolanda Speece wrote:

FORCING a left handed person to write with their right hand could cause stuttering.



This is exactly what happened to me. I was told to write with my right hand at school (approx. 6 years old in 1962). I was extremely sporty with very good coordination. I started stuttering and my coordination went to pot. I kept dropping things. The teachers eventually gave up, let me write with my left and everything returned to normal. I even won a "neat handwriting" prize at the age of 10, much to the teachers' amazement. I can also write much faster than most right-handers.

Nice to know I'm not the only one to stutter.

Thanks for that,
Jill


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 19:06
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
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on hypotheses, inferences and proofs Jan 8, 2008

— but 2 of the gay guys I know happen to be left-handed, so that might mean something!

An African riding a bike, to his work I assume, passes my house every morning. So Africa cant be that far away - 2, 3 km? -.



[Urejeno ob 2008-01-08 04:02]


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
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Member (2006)
French to Hindi
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A great left-hander (Mythology) Jan 8, 2008

Well, I've heard that Arjuna (epic Mahabharata - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arjuna ) was left-handed and one of his names (yes, he had several) actually means ambidextrous:

I can use my both hands when I shoot my arrows, that is why I am called Savyashachee. (from wikipedia)


I know a couple of people who actually named their kids 'sabyasachi' because the kid was left-handed. And one of those has grown up to be a respected scientist. He was excellent in studies and this is no myth. BTW he is a charmer and most girls of his age just love him. Regarding teachers, well they were scared of him beacause he was one of the naughtiest kids in class and add to this his habit of asking lots and lots of questions (sometimes the teachers didn't know the answer either). So was it his 'left-hand'?

Guess it's lucky to be left-handed (at least in India)

Unfortunately, I'm not. But I'm ambidextrous when I type

[Edited at 2008-01-08 09:51]


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:06
Member
English to French
Neither brain damage nor stuttering for me Jan 8, 2008

...as far as I can tell, after being taught to write and use scissors with my right hand (I can't remember being "forced"). I do everything else with my left hand. I write unintelligibly fast, not because I am left-handed, but because I used to write miles of scientific prose every day when I was a student. I write very properly if I take the time to do so.
I learnt to live with things designed for the right handed, like microwave oven doors, desks, men shirt buttons, some mice, standard screws, fixed phones, outboard engines, chainsaws, hobs, hair dryers, guns, etc.
My wife is also left-handed (it wasn't a prerequisite), and we can place things on desks in a convenient way for both, including the mouse on the left-hand side with swapped buttons. I don't think we are any different from other couples.
Both our children are right-handed, which corroborates the idea that left-handedness jumps generations.

Philippe,
An averagely normal left-handed Caucasian male specimen writing with his right hand


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:06
German to English
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Shirt buttons? Jan 8, 2008

Philippe Etienne wrote:
I learnt to live with things designed for the right handed, like microwave oven doors, desks, men shirt buttons, some mice, standard screws, fixed phones, outboard engines, chainsaws, hobs, hair dryers, guns, etc.

I am distinctly right-handed in every respect except my shirt buttons - I always do them up and undo them with my left hand (somehow, my right hand is too clumsy).
Surely this is ideal material for another poll or forum discussion?


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Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 19:06
Dutch to English
Folklore Jan 8, 2008

Hi. I grew up in the southern US, the Bible Belt, and they say there that if you're left handed, you owe the devil a favour. No idea where it comes from. They also refer to lefties as south paws.

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yolanda Speece  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:06
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I, like many southpaws, learned to adapt in a lot of ways Jan 8, 2008

However, when it came to eating or writing with my right hand, I was defiant.

My father would playfully tease me when we were eating. When I would pick up the spoon, fork, he would say, "why don't you try it with your other hand?" I would ask him why he didn't try it with his other hand. He didn't have an answer for that but it always seemed to produce laughter around the entire table.

In school, my first grade teacher tied my left hand to the desk so that I would write with my right hand.
When she complained to my parents that I wasn't turning in my work and that I was in serious danger of failing, they weren't too pleased with why I wasn't turning in my work. I told them that I couldn't write if she kept tying my hand to the desk. She was an older lady and was asked to put in for early retirement.

I think the worst part of being left handed in a classroom where it was discouraged is that when the teacher sets the tone of making you the odd man out, the other students begin to tease you because the teacher makes your "uniqueness" something to be ridiculed.

It is almost as though they can "smell the trail of blood".


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Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
Member (2007)
French to English
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Hmmm.. Jan 8, 2008

Apparently as a young child my natural tendency was to be left-handed. Here in JA it was considered to be a bad thing and so my parents made me change hands. they thought it was the best thing for me. Nice to know that it happens elsewhere too. Thank God there's more knowledge out there now.

I don't stutter but had poor coordination and was bad at sports as a child... don't know if that was because of the hand change, but thanks for the food for thought!


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Krzysztof Łesyk  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 02:06
Japanese to English
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Swapping mouse buttons - yay or nay? Jan 8, 2008

Philippe Etienne wrote:

(...) we can place things on desks in a convenient way for both, including the mouse on the left-hand side with swapped buttons. (...)

That's actually interesting - even though I'm left-handed and place my mouse on the left side of the desk (I can't operate the mouse with my right hand at all), I don't swap the buttons - I know such option exists, I just never needed to use it. I wonder, how many people actually swap their mouse buttons?

Speaking of mice, don't you think it's quite hard to buy a good quality mouse recently if you're left-handed? Most of them are "ergonomic" now - too bad it prevents me from being able to hold them with my left hand...


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:06
Italian to English
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Interesting topic Jan 10, 2008

I'm a leftie and proud of it! I'm not aware of any myths, facts and prejudices surrounding us other than those already mentioned, although it's worth noting of course that whereas for Latins (and Italians) we're sinister, for the French we're merely gauche

[transferring rest of post to other thread on lefties]

[Edited at 2008-01-10 09:57]


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Aurélie DANIEL  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:06
English to French
+ ...
Stuttering Jan 15, 2008

My father is left-handed, and in primary school his teacher made him write with his right hand (using corporal punishment to enforce this silly rule, ah, the good old days). I know he stuttered when he was a child, and the stuttering went away when he became a teenager and started writing with his left hand.

How exactly the stuttering appeared and went away, I cannot say for sure, but there seems to be a connection there.


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