Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hey, Lefty!

HAPPY NATIONAL LEFT-HANDEDNESS DAY! Approximately 7 to 10 %
of the population is left handed. Not me. But JR, my sonny boy is. And he was never urged to switch to the right. Whereas in my earlier days there might still have been a cultural pressure for right handed use.
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Through the ages, there has been a prejudice against left handedness, passed down through myth and superstition. In adulthood, left handers were often shunned, resulting in fewer marrying. It was also thought that older mothers were more likely to give birth to left handed children. But a truth lies in the fact that lefties are likely to have more accidents as a result of many things being designed for right handers.
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A justification for forcing the use of the right hand was due in part to the design of the ink pens themselves. The side of the left hand would smear the writing as it passed over the still wet ink. Lefties were the losers, since an ink pen has its nib cut at an angle that favors the right hand. The left will scratch or dig into the paper, unless one is very careful when writing. Catch 22.
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A southpaw is a term for a lefty, originated in baseball. Ballparks are often designed so that batters are facing east, so the afternoon sun does not shine into their eyes. That means that left handed pitchers are throwing with their "south-side" arm.
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In many languages, right is not only a synonym for correctness, but also stands for authority and justice. The word "sinister" comes from the Latin, "sinestra", originally meant "left", but took on meanings of evil or unlucky.
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Bad enough to have to juggle handedness, then to be told to get off the dance floor because you have two left feet! And to add insult to injury, the computer mouse is generally made to fit the right hand better.
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Anyway, have a "righteous" day!

18 comments:

Poetikat said...

I didn't know you had a son. I'm a right-handed person, as was my dad and is, my mom. My husband is - you know, I don't know too many lefties.

Kat

Leks said...

Hi Lyn,I was born lefty but as one I was not welcome in my world back there and then,they beat it out of me at school,still I do not know the reason.I am bad,bad girl!!
But they could not beat my jumping of my left leg!!But it is one of the gret resons of my instable "nature".Thank you for your coment on my old blogsite,what did you mean by "it is easy to follow me"?Good luck to you too,hug,Aleksandra

Lyn said...

Hi Kat-
My son is the only lefty in my fam. Being a lefty is a different visual effect..
Our Pres. is also a lefty!

Lyn said...

Hi Leks-
What I meant about it being easy to follow is that your blog was there when I clicked on it...
Being forced from one's nature is always wrong..hope it didn't spoil you too much..I'm sure not!!

Alaine said...

Awww, my hubby is left-handed and he was tormented by teachers. I must tell him that there is a day for 'molly-dookers'; it's his Birthday today, give him a laugh.

Lyn said...

Hi Alaine-
Molly-dookers..that's a new one on me! And a very happy birthday to your hub! Folks were crazy about forcing lefties, weren't they?

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I'm a left-handed giraffe! I've never been told to change to right-handed, or had any negative comments - if anything it has been helpful, as people often say that left-handed people tend to be very creative. So it's been encouraging really!

Jeane said...

oh man, I got to see the pic of the orange cous cous again - yummo - both my Dad and youngest son/ lefties and both extremely creative beings - driving a stick shift car proved a challenge for both, but of course they did it and many other things - wonderful post Lyn :)

Lyn said...

Hi Raph-
You're right about the creativity, I've seen that myself!
And you sure have it!!

Lyn said...

Hi Jeane-
Creative, yes, that's where you got it from! Funny, but my lefty son loves to drive a stick shift!

Alaine said...

Me again. Yes, I saw a lot of it in school, kids getting rapped over the knuckles with a ruler.

I found this explanation of Mollydooker, which is interesting -

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-mol2.htm

Lyn said...

Hi Alaine-
Very interesting..and thank you so much. Dukes makes sense...not so sure of the Romany theory. And Mollycoddle..my goodness. It's always fun to find derivations..

Natalie said...

My dad and bro are lefties, but none of my kids. Hmmmmmm................

Lyn said...

Hi Nat-
My son too..It seems to be more male dominated..I'll have to check on that..

Derrick said...

Hi Lyn,

In our guesthouse life, one evening at dinner all the guests were lefthanded! My partner knew something was "wrong" but it took a while to realise just what!

Now, I'm going to look at Alaine's link to see why mollycoddle seems to have surprised you? To me, it means excessively fussing over someone and treating them too softly.

Lyn said...

Hi Derrick-
Maybe there was a lefty convention in town! As far as mollycoddle, your definition has always been mine. Upon going to the link, I discovered that an early meaning focused on someone who was effeminate..therefore I was surprised!

Studio Sylvia said...

Hi Lyn.
One of my brothers is left-handed. While in primary school, many moons ago, he was often forced to write with his right hand, until my mother had enough and confronted the nun and told her to leave him be. Needless to say, he managed very well from then on.

Lyn said...

Hi Sylvia-
That's what they did based on ignorance and superstition..good for your Mom, another strong woman!

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