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Old 23 September 2013, 09:44 PM
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Icon102 Why Are Some People Left-Handed?

For the left-handed people of the world, life isn’t easy. Throughout much of history, massive stigmas attached to left-handedness meant they were singled out as everything from unclean to witches. In Medieval times, writing with your left-hand was a surefire way to be accused of being possessed by the devil; after all, the devil himself was thought to be a lefty. The world has gotten progressively more accepting of left-handed folk, but there are still some undeniable bummers associated with a left-handed proclivity: desks and spiral notebooks pose a constant battle, scissors are all but impossible to use and–according to some studies–life-expectancy might be lower than for right-handed people.

http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/scie...e-left-handed/
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  #2  
Old 23 September 2013, 09:48 PM
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The pages in spiral notebooks have backs as well as fronts.
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Old 23 September 2013, 10:10 PM
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The study showing shorter life spans for lefties is probably innacurate: http://marginalrevolution.com/margin...die-young.html
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Old 23 September 2013, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
The pages in spiral notebooks have backs as well as fronts.
Which is why some left-handed people use them back-to-front.
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Old 24 September 2013, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
The pages in spiral notebooks have backs as well as fronts.
...which puts the holes on the wrong side of the paper - at least in the spiral notebooks that I'm familiar with. Some lefties, including myself, are apparently anal enough for that to actually be a deterrent to using a notebook backward.
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  #6  
Old 24 September 2013, 11:49 AM
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Read This!

A lot of right-handers use both sides of each note sheet so it's hard to see what big difference it makes. There's no "right side" for the holes, actually.
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Old 24 September 2013, 11:49 AM
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I'm positive some of my teachers would not have accepted papers that were "backward." Nor would they have accepted journal assignments with backward-reading books.

There is a right side to the holes if they are going in a binder, if they are written in English.

Back to the OP, the headline should be, why aren't more people left handed? It's a pretty interesting question, really.

Last edited by erwins; 24 September 2013 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 24 September 2013, 12:05 PM
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I catch your drift. But what about my contention that right handed people write on the other side when they use the backs - and seem to have no problem doing it?
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Old 24 September 2013, 12:10 PM
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About that very good question: Why aren't there more lefties? (I always slightly disliked the word "southpaw". It's only south if you face west!) There was an interesting (if probably already debunked but I'm not in a looking up mood tonight) hypothesis about hand-to-hand combat, sports, etc. The basic idea was that there was an advantage to fighting with the not-species-domninant hand but only up to a certain point. It was an interesting analysis.
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Old 24 September 2013, 12:13 PM
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Do they really have no problem, or is it not a big bother because it doesn't always come up? If you have a page and a half of notes, a righty only writes on the back for half a page. Lefties get a whole page of spiral binding to the wrist/arm. In any event, lefty writing mechanics tend to be different enough from righty ones that it could account for a difference in how annoying the spiral is.

I used to get top bound notebooks to avoid the issue.
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Old 24 September 2013, 12:15 PM
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I see. I don't use spiral notebooks very often. Too springy! Plus it just seems like a waste of good wire.
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Old 24 September 2013, 12:34 PM
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I used to use spiral notebooks for note-taking during class or other functions, but would continuously use one, writing on both sides, until it was full, so both sides did get used with the same frequency.

Nick
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Old 24 September 2013, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
I catch your drift. But what about my contention that right handed people write on the other side when they use the backs - and seem to have no problem doing it?
Lefthanders often use a very different hand position from those used by righthanded people. See the OP article illustration of Obama signing his name. IME, this hand position is more likely to cause problems with spiral notebooks (or three-ring binders and some bound notebooks, for that matter).
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Old 24 September 2013, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Lefthanders often use a very different hand position from those used by righthanded people. See the OP article illustration of Obama signing his name. IME, this hand position is more likely to cause problems with spiral notebooks (or three-ring binders and some bound notebooks, for that matter).
Right. Regardless of how the page is oriented, we write English left-to-right, which means the righty is pulling across the page while the lefty is pushing across the page. This also means that, for a lefty, using an erasable ink pen or even a pencil often results in smearing ink/lead all over one's hand and the page.
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Old 24 September 2013, 02:09 PM
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I still test every pen for smearing before use. If it fails the test I give it away.

ETA: The hooked-hand position some lefties use may be an attempt to avoid smearing, or a reaction to a teacher's urging "don't cover your work!", as mine did, during writing lessons. Short of writing right-to-left or detaching my hand from my arm, that was as close as I could get to not covering my work.
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Old 24 September 2013, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I'm positive some of my teachers would not have accepted papers that were "backward." Nor would they have accepted journal assignments with backward-reading books.
You can right on the "back" side of the paper, but still have it read going forward.

Quote:
There is a right side to the holes if they are going in a binder, if they are written in English.
The right side to the holes in the binder is only because of the same convention as above.
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Old 24 September 2013, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
In Medieval times, writing with your left-hand was a surefire way to be accused of being possessed by the devil;
Cite please. I tried looking this up. Ignoring all the similar unsupported guesses it looks like in a archaeological survey of medieval remains they found a higher incidence of left handedness. One might argue that these were peasants and not displaying any sort of writing handedness. Okay then. Why were the monks, the guys more likely to be able to write and observe a left handed writer, not writing about those evil lefties. This noted medievalist blogger can't seem to find references to accusations of demonic possession in lefties. I know an absence of evidence does not mean it never happened but why are all these articles like the OP so damn sure.
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  #18  
Old 24 September 2013, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by she-geek View Post
...which puts the holes on the wrong side of the paper - at least in the spiral notebooks that I'm familiar with.
Look for the notebooks that have holes punched in both sides; I'm sure I've seen them. Personally, I never had trouble with spiral notebooks, but I did and do with paper in three-ring binders. In college and grad school I took notes on a clipboard and transferred them into a binder later.
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Originally Posted by rujasu View Post
This also means that, for a lefty, using an erasable ink pen or even a pencil often results in smearing ink/lead all over one's hand and the page.
Speak for yourself. I do not push across the page (and I never did) or smear the ink (I can't say I never smeared, because I was a very messy child). Just like righties, there are all sorts of sinistral people, some of whom hold a pen upright and straight.

I know the research concerning life span has been questioned, however, a number of years ago I read something indicating that lefties recover better from strokes--has that also been debunked?

I find the things that cause the most trouble are the ones no one thinks about, like doorknobs.

Seaboe
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Old 24 September 2013, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Personally, I never had trouble with spiral notebooks, but I did and do with paper in three-ring binders. In college and grad school I took notes on a clipboard and transferred them into a binder later.

Seaboe
Trouble is a subjective thing, IMO. The smaller the spiral notebook, the more problematic it becomes for me - which is why I tend to use legal pads instead.
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  #20  
Old 24 September 2013, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
You can right on the "back" side of the paper, but still have it read going forward.
Not for a single-page assignment.

Quote:
The right side to the holes in the binder is only because of the same convention as above.
It is a pretty strong convention though. Again, even if I ordered the pages correctly in a binder, I'm sure many of my teachers would not have been very accepting of reading only left-hand pages/the backs of pages. If we are talking about using both sides of every page, then I concede the point, but it's sort of moot.
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