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Old August 13th, 2014, 06:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default To the left, to the left!

Today is the Day of Lefthandedness, to ask attention for the minor and major inconveniences of the left-handed. Greet people with a leftie today, or show a pic here of you doing something with your left hand.
Do you have a preference to use your left hand? How do you handle those inconveniences? About 10-15% is lefthanded. Left-handedness is somewhat more common among men than among women.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and the left controls the right. Only us left handed folks are in our right mind.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 12:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I too am sinistral!
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Old August 13th, 2014, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am protesting that this day is unfair to us righties.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 02:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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In the spirit of fairness and in the manner in which all recent U.S. laws are enacted, I suggest that no one be allowed to use either hand in any public space or within 100 yards of a school, prison, airport or government restroom ... or dan.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 04:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm same and Dan as I'm a right hander, however we think our son(my partner and I, not Dan and I!) Who's only 18 months old, so can't tell for definite....may be a lefty! :-)
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Old August 13th, 2014, 05:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My son can do most everything both left and right, bit or was pretty obvious early on that he was left hand dominant.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 05:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm same and Dan as I'm a right hander, however we think our son(my partner and I, not Dan and I!) Who's only 18 months old, so can't tell for definite....may be a lefty! :-)

I am so glad you cleared that up.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 05:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm right-handed by birth, but became ambidextrous back in 2003-2004 after breaking my right wrist. My right hand was unusable for nine months, during which time I learned to do everything left-handed. Now I can pick and choose which hand to use!
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Old August 13th, 2014, 06:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Our team at work (an IT group) is comprised of ten folks, three of whom are left-handed. Depending on what I'm doing, I'm interchangeable, but certainly RH-dominant. When it comes to working around cars, etc. it's whichever hand gets in there first.

MoodyBlues, my uncle was RH by birth but at that time it was not socially acceptable, so he was forced to learn to "be" right-handed. In the end it served him well throughout his life since he could do pretty much anything equally well with either hand. For a time I tried to force myself to write left-handed, but I wussed out on it after a while, and once keyboards came into vogue, I abandoned the concept entirely.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 06:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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MoodyBlues, my uncle was RH by birth but at that time it was not socially acceptable, so he was forced to learn to "be" right-handed. In the end it served him well throughout his life since he could do pretty much anything equally well with either hand. For a time I tried to force myself to write left-handed, but I wussed out on it after a while, and once keyboards came into vogue, I abandoned the concept entirely.
I really like being able to switch off at will. I wish I had done it sooner! I remember some earlier attempts--sort of like yours, forcing myself to do things left-handed--but they never took. That's because I knew, of course, that it was VOLUNTARY! Once my right hand became unusable, it was like learn to do it left-handed or be really, really limited. It also taught me what lefties go through on a daily basis, like not being able to use my Logitech trackballs.

To this day I brush my teeth LH, pour coffee and drink coffee LH, and lots of other stuff. When I'm playing games on my tablet I can go either RH or LH, depending on mood and position.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 06:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yay lefties!! Nice thread Kaat!!
I write with my left hand.
I eat with my left hand.
I steer with my left hand.
I throw with my left hand.
I use scissors with my right hand.
I bat right handed.
I shoot right hand.
I wear my watch on my right hand.

Hmmmm, what am I?!?!?!
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Old August 13th, 2014, 07:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yay lefties!! Nice thread Kaat!!
I write with my left hand.
I eat with my left hand.
I steer with my left hand.
I throw with my left hand.
I use scissors with my right hand.
I bat right handed.
I shoot right hand.
I wear my watch on my right hand.

Hmmmm, what am I?!?!?!
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Old August 13th, 2014, 07:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I was going with split personality, but that works, too.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 07:59 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thank you Moody

Lunatic calling me split personality?? How ironic
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Old August 13th, 2014, 08:21 PM   #16 (permalink)
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FWIW Mike, I fire weapons right handed too. Even though most things I can do either lefty or righty, shooting is naturally right handed for me.
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Old August 13th, 2014, 10:01 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yay lefties!! Nice thread Kaat!!
I write with my left hand.
I eat with my left hand.
I steer with my left hand.
I throw with my left hand.
I use scissors with my right hand.
I bat right handed.
I shoot right hand.
I wear my watch on my right hand.

Hmmmm, what am I?!?!?!
Wow! Cool thread! Lefty-day on my birthday, to boot!

I consider myself a lefty, because I eat and write left-handed. But also...

- I throw and bat right-handed
- my stronger kicking foot/leg (for soccer) is my right leg
- I'm right-hand dominant in tennis but don't have a preference in ping-pong (table tennis)
- when/if I wear a watch, it's on my left-wrist
- I use scissors with my right-hand (never could with my left )

I'm in the information technology field, too .

I'm like Mike, only different!

edit: oh, I just remembered that when I was two, I stuck my left-hand in a fan (it's fine except for a weird fingernail on my ring finger), so I wonder if I developed some right-handedness while I was recovering?
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Old August 14th, 2014, 09:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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happy bday scary
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Old August 14th, 2014, 09:56 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I really like being able to switch off at will. I wish I had done it sooner! I remember some earlier attempts--sort of like yours, forcing myself to do things left-handed--but they never took. That's because I knew, of course, that it was VOLUNTARY! Once my right hand became unusable, it was like learn to do it left-handed or be really, really limited. It also taught me what lefties go through on a daily basis, like not being able to use my Logitech trackballs.

To this day I brush my teeth LH, pour coffee and drink coffee LH, and lots of other stuff. When I'm playing games on my tablet I can go either RH or LH, depending on mood and position.
I can only think of one situation where I unconsciously developed a left-handed preference for things, and that's opening/tightening bottles. Other than that, my right hand/foot are dominant for everything.

But, like you Moody, I've always wanted to be able to use both equally and often deliberately switch the way I do things to try and strengthen my other hand. E.g. brushing my teeth, switching the mouse over, etc. That's all perfectly do-able. The only truly difficult part is writing with your non-dominant hand. When I've tried it comes out surprisingly legible, but only if I go very, very slowly. If I was motivated enough (i.e. broke my arm/hand), I could probably get a lot faster at it.

You're right though - it definitely gives you an appreciation for how many slight inconveniences left handed people have to put up with.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 01:42 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have to break my right arm .. to be able to develop my left?
maybe next life...
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Old August 14th, 2014, 04:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I have to break my right arm .. to be able to develop my left?
maybe next life...
Hey, it worked for me!
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Old August 14th, 2014, 04:49 PM   #22 (permalink)
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FWIW Mike, I fire weapons right handed too. Even though most things I can do either lefty or righty, shooting is naturally right handed for me.
With auto/semi-auto weapons that is a good thing, since the traditional ejection port to the right would often put the hot, spent shell casings into your face or body. I still remember (I was much younger then!) when a friend of mine convinced me to try shooting his lever-action 30-30 left-handed (he kept my attention on trying to hit the target as a challenge, I'm sure he knew what was coming by his uproarious laughter that followed) and when I swung the lever for another round, the spent casing came back and hit me just above the hairline, a little right of center. It hurt quite a bit more than you might expect and scared me a little, too.

And no, we're no longer friends, although it had nothing to do with that incident.
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Old August 14th, 2014, 08:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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One thing I never understood with guitars. If the guitar is right handed, you're strumming with your right hand, but doing the fingering and chords, which think is the hardest part, you're doing that with your non-dominant left hand. And then there's famous left handed guitarists of course, like Jimi Hendrix or Paul McCartney. But on the other hand I've never seen anyone playing a violin left handed, those always seem to be right handed. The bow is always in the right hand, and you're fingering with your left hand, probably the hardest part again. And the instrument itself, seems to be always designed like that as well, the chin rest is always in the position for right handed playing. Same thing with the Mongolian morin khuur(horse head fiddle) and the Chinese erhu, those are always played right handed from what I've seen, i.e. bow in right hand, fingering with left hand, just like the violin.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 08:16 AM   #24 (permalink)
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One thing I never understood with guitars. If the guitar is right handed, you're strumming with your right hand, but doing the fingering and chords, which think is the hardest part, you're doing that with your non-dominant left hand. And then there's famous left handed guitarists of course, like Jimi Hendrix or Paul McCartney.
They both played right handed instruments held in a left handed manner (i.e. upside down), which is the most impressive thing!

As for why right handed is arranged the way it is, the first important thing to consider (beyond complexity of movement required) is endurance. Typically the strumming hand has to put in very rapid movement with strict tempo-consistency for the entire song, but the fretting hand can often sit in place for relatively long periods. That's one argument for having your dominant hand and arm for that task.

But most importantly, I think that the style of music you're playing on the guitar is the key. They all place different levels of demand on each hand.

On one side of the scale you've got, for example, a metal solo. That requires your fretting hand to dance and contort all over the neck, quickly. Your other hand isn't exactly slouching either, but that's probably the most demanding task for your fretting hand I can think of.

But on the opposite end of the scale you've got finger picking, where the fretting hand is playing relatively infrequently changing cord shapes, but every finger on your picking hand is potentially plucking different strings at different rates - that's far more demanding of your dominant hand, in my opinion.

So from that point of view, you can't have one instrument to suit all purposes. But since fingerstyle is probably the dominant playing style in classical guitar and blues guitar (the latter of which was really the foundation of all modern guitar styles), it makes sense that left handed fretting was chosen as a standard.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 12:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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^^^ that was good enough for me.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 01:39 PM   #26 (permalink)
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The thread title brought back another memory. Back in law school one of my best friends, Tim, was an RP sufferer and it was quite advanced, he had no peripheral vision whatsoever and he described it as looking through drinking straws.

He and I and my then girlfriend -- who was left handed (hence the relevance, as such, to the thread) -- were hiking somewhere in Arizona, I can't recall exactly. Tim generally needed only general verbal corrections and that's what we were doing. (Sometimes when we hiked together we had fashioned a belt with a bar on it he could hold on to and I'd lead the way, but we weren't using this at that time.)

Anyway, I had been leading with Tim and the GF behind, calling sometimes "left" or "right" or "rock" or "going down" or "going up" so Tim could focus his attention and eyesight, pick up a cue, and continue unhindered. As we continued, the trail was getting narrower and not looking as heavily traveled, and I mentioned that I wanted to go on ahead at a faster pace to see if we had strayed off the main trail, so the GF took over "leading" Tim. I didn't go very far ahead before I could see our trail continuing and joining another trail, so I knew we were okay, and as I was getting back, the lefty GF gave Tim a miscue and told him "left" when she really meant "right" (she later told me she often got those two mixed up, which was hilarious to me).

That's when we all found out that the trick of using a comb to separate a clump of cholla from skin (Tim's forearm in this case) works pretty well. There were a few spines we still had to dig out, but most of it came loose with the comb. And those spines REALLY hold on; his skin pulled away from his forearm quite a bit before the clump pulled off.

Needless to say, she wasn't allowed to lead anymore on that trip or any other.


I hadn't thought about that in a long time, so thanks for that memory. I'm going to try and call Tim this evening and see how he and his wife are doing, it's been too long.
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Old August 15th, 2014, 03:58 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I used to write with both hands when I was little, switching off when one hand got tired.

I guess my right hand was a hair weaker because eventually the left hand stuck!
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Old August 15th, 2014, 04:38 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rxpert83 View Post
I used to write with both hands when I was little, switching off when one hand got tired.

I guess my right hand was a hair weaker because eventually the left hand stuck!
Either that or your right brain was stronger!
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