Friday, May 29, 2009

WHY LEFT-HANDERS DIE EARLY - Part 1

PART 1 - STATIONARY WOES

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.

4. SPIRAL BOUND NOTEBOOKS

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 (dailymotion.com video)’ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left-handed#cite_note-40

To be continued…

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