Friday, May 29, 2009



1. Scissors

Scissors, a very common tool, are arranged so that the line being cut along can be seen by a right-handed user, but is obscured to a left-handed user. Furthermore, the handles are often molded in a way that is difficult for a left-hander to hold, and extensive use in such cases can lead to varying levels of discomfort. Most importantly, the scissoring or shearing action - how the blades work together (how they are attached at the pivot) - operates correctly for a right-hander, but a left-hander will tend to force the blades apart rather than shearing the target substance.*

Try using a blunt right-handed scissors with your left hand. IT’S TORTURE. Probably this was the main reason why I couldn’t use right-handed scissors all the way in primary school. It was only after I lost my left-handed scissors I forced myself to learn how to cut using my right-hand. Why? Please refer to my future post on miscellaneous woes.

2. Sharpener

Some of my left-handed friends find using a sharpener difficult. Personally, I have no problems with it but apparently, they say that right-handers turn it clockwise outwards while left-handers have to turn it anticlockwise inwards. This is a lot more awkward and inconvenient.

3. Ruler

For those mass produced rulers, the scale reads from left to right. We lefties tend to block the scale because our left hand goes over the scale whenever we draw lines.


I need to explain this one. When my right-handed friends and I were discussing this discomfort, they say that the wires also poke into their wrists when they write on the left page. Ah… To examine this, let me take you back to the time when a left-handed kid first learns to write.

When properly taught, left-handed writing is a mirror image to that of the right-hander, making the teaching process confusing for the right-handed teacher of a left-handed student. The result is that many left-handed children learn to write with their hand curled around the pen so that it can meet the paper at the same angle as the right-hander and also to account for the front page of notebooks and binders, as the books open so you write on the right side, which puts the binding on the left side, inhibiting the left hand from writing freely.

When the left hand is held correctly, it is below the writing, as is typical for right-handers.* Unfortunately for most left-handers, we have already the habit of writing OVER the alphabets and so, our left hand tends to ‘rest’ on the wires. Right-handers who have learnt the right way hold their hand below it and hence, avoid most of the wires.

The sad fact?

Once this habit is formed, it is difficult to break. Mine is already 17 years in the making.

5. Rollers and highlighters

Right-handers can do their corrections with a correction tape as they go along the word and highlight the text as they go along the passage. Unfortunately, we lefties either have to bend our wrists at an awkward angle to mirror right-handers OR we correct and highlight the word BACKWARDS. This gets irritating but well, after awhile we tend not to notice because they’re other more pressing woes to face.

This is why I NEVER use correction tapes.

*Source from ‘Lefthanded scissors explained ( video)’ and

To be continued…


‘You’re a left hander??? Cool! Do you know you will die earlier than right handers?!”

I have lost track of how many times I’ve heard this statement. However, I’ve yet to determine which part of ‘dying early’ is cool. In the beginning, I wasn’t so sure of the fact that left handers die early. Logically, why would this be so? Unfortunately, when I did some background check, apparently a study by Coren S, Halpern DF which was published in 1991 claimed that these statistics indicate that left-handed people's lifespans are shorter than those of their right-handed counterparts by as much as 9 years.* Great, absolutely fantastic.

Which brings me to the question, why? If I was going to die early, I’m going to need to know the reason. Well, the author suggested that, ‘This may be the result of left-handed people being more likely to die in accidents as a result of their "affliction", which renders them clumsier and ill-equipped to survive in a right-handed world.’*

Or, in the words of Samantha Madison from the book All American Girl, ‘Left-handed people die sooner than right-handers, due to the fact that the entire world, from automobiles to those desks you take the SATs at to cash machines at the bank, is slanted toward the right-handed. Finally, after a while, we lefties just give up the struggle and croak rather than try one last time to write something in a spiral-bound notebook with all those wires poking into our wrists.’

Thus inspired, I decided to list down some of the grievances left-handers face. Some of them are personal discomforts; some have been contributed by other left-handers (and surprisingly, right-handers as well) while the rest of them were lifted off the net. Without further ado, let the left-handers cry of oppression begin.

P.S. To ease the eye and to appease my readers, I will divide this post into many sub posts AND I will put pictures.

*Source from Coren S, Halpern DF (1991). "Left-handedness: a marker for decreased survival fitness". Psychological Bulletin 109 (1): 90–106. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.109.1.90

To be continued…