A Conversation for Left Handedness
As a kind of lefthander myself (well, I'm not sure - I'm kind of ambi-clumsy) I could have been a world class snooker player, cricketer, and / or baseball player if only they'd let me use my left hand!
Even when I was starting school (circa 1980) I still remember having a crayon removed from my left hand and placed in my right. I swapped as soon as the teacher's back was turned.
Something you don't mention is cutlery. I don't know of any lefthanders who still use their knife in their left hand - it was considered "rude". Has everyone been conditioned out of this?
tom Posted Oct 16, 2001
having on occasion tried to use my left hand to cut or write I made a botch of it. Is that why left handers trying to disguise it were considered weak? Certainly my (stronger) right hand cuts meat easier: certainly trying to write left handed makes my writing even more illegible than usual ;-(
I don't know of any evolutionary benefit of one hand over the other so why did it set ro right handedness being chosen? Going by a much more recent development why does driving on one side of the road vary from country to country. Is it fashion or following the gang here?
If it didn't matter then primitive tribes would be equally right or left handed as a majority but I don't think this is so. that suggests that it must be far back in human development.
My daughter has got a few things from a left handed shop which advertises in the papers at times. Our Lancashire spud peeler is usable by either hand but that came from Woolies I think.
Regarding increased death rates, I seem to recallthat that piece of evidence was rubbished by a proper look at the statistics. Some folk will use any old hash of figures to prove a point so I've learned to be careful as you should be of my post
beeline Posted Oct 17, 2001
If I remember rightly, the right hand is more common because of the way the brain is wired up. One half of the brain (the left side, presumably, which controls the right side of the body) is generally more adept at fine motor movement. In left-handed people it could be the other way around. Either that or I'm talking rubbish.
As far as driving on the left is concerned, I believe that it was something to do with being able to present the 'sword hand' to someone passing you by on the other side of the road so that you could defend yourself. If you're on the left-hand side, you can fight an oncoming swordsman (assuming that you're both right-handed, of course!) This is certainly the reason why the spiral staircases in English castles wind clockwise on the way up - it's easier to defend your castle from above if you're both right-handed, because the invading swordsman, below you on the stairs, can't get his sword 'up and around the corner' with his right hand - the central staircase pillar impedes his sword hand.
Why most countries are now right-driving is more of a mystery: maybe they all wanted to show a peaceful non-combative nature on their roads!
. Posted Oct 17, 2001
I read somewhere that left-handers who write in the hook-wristed way are supposed to be left-brain dominant, like most right-handers. Therefore hook-wristed right-handers are thought to be right-hemisphere dominant. But this could not be true because some people wrote hook-wristed when young, then changed, and vice-versa.
I read (yes I do a lot of reading ) about a castle where the spiral staircases went the other way to most - anticlockwise? This was because the family who owned the castle was supposed to have a high rate of left-handers.
tom Posted Oct 18, 2001
As I recall the McFarlanes had such a castle. Not only did they have the advantage but their righthanded opponents had much less room to swing their swords. Do a wee thought experiment with your sword in different hands. If the sword is in the hand at the outer wall then it has more room to maneouvre than if in the hand near the central pole. Change hands and visualise it - in either direction!
It's not just a human phenomenon. Climbing plants twist one way or the other for preference. Or is that just a Flanders & Swan song
Certainly some molecules can exist in mirror image forms and one form is much more powerful chemically ? because it fits closer into another substace allowing easier chemical reaction.
AEndr, The Mad Hatter Posted Oct 17, 2002
The Kerr can have their staircases spiralling the other way - useful for a group noted for their left-handedness. "Kerr-handed" is one way of describing a lefty, like me.
AEndr, a Kerr
Researcher 236338 Posted Jul 28, 2003
The most important thing with eating is to get the food in your mouth! This is done in polite UK society with the fork held in the left hand. Left handers therefore are at an advantage over Right handers. Have you ever seen Americans eat? Fork in LHD knife in RHD. They cut everything up, transfer the fork to the right hand and shovel it in!
Key: Complain about this post
- 1: Otto Fisch ("One, you started coming over. Two, you started sleeping over. Three, you started taking over. Four, you told me it was over.") (Oct 16, 2001)
- 2: tom (Oct 16, 2001)
- 3: beeline (Oct 17, 2001)
- 4: . (Oct 17, 2001)
- 5: tom (Oct 18, 2001)
- 6: AEndr, The Mad Hatter (Oct 17, 2002)
- 7: Researcher 236338 (Jul 28, 2003)