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Re:
A university is not likely to refuse to offer a seat to somebody gay, but they are likely to refuse to offer left handed desks.

For one thing, the people who make those "tablet-arm" exclusively right- (or left-)handed desks charge about 10% more for machine-assembling the chair/desk "the wrong way" (done by adjusting something on the assembly-machine and feeding one of the parts through backwards) - this DOES NOT LOOK GOOD to a budget-committee that might otherwise consider ordering lefty desks.
For another thing, universities or other schools that *do* for any reason order lefty desks often order just a "token" one or two per classroom - one lefty desk in a university lecture-hall of 300 students will leave most of the lefties coping with right-handed desks, yet the administration can just say "Stop your bawling - we ORDER lefty desks!"

Even when universities or other schools order enough lefty desks, these come in a single boxed shipment (separate from the boxes of righty desks), so the janitor unpacks all of the lefty desks together and puts them all into the same classroom. In (for example) an elementary school, this means that one room (say, a first-grade classroom) has 30 lefty desks ranging in size from "kindergarten" to "high school" - and no righty desks! - while none of the other classrooms gets any lefty desks at all. (Then, of course, the parents of first-graders complain, so the school stops ordering lefty desks because, well, "it just makes trouble.")
So while righties get a desk with an arm rest and a properly positioned writing surface, lefties often do not.

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Re:

I've never heard of a student being barred from an ... my middle teens. Pity computers have destroyed all that effort.

At least one study (I'll look up the citation next week when I return from business out of town this ... other words, an essay that got a C+ if typewritten or poorly handwritten would get a B+ if handwritten well.)

It sounds as if the examiners need some adjustment! That really is dreadful discrimination. I suppose that it could be fairly easily remedied by having an external person rate the handwriting and either up the grades of those that are bad (or typed), or reduce those that are wrongly upgraded.

When we have got to the end of this chapter (but not before) we must all turn back to the two blank chapters, on the account of which my honour has lain bleeding this half hour I stop it, by pulling off one of my yellow slippers and throwing it with all my violence to the opposite side of my room, with a declaration at the heel of it - Tristam Shandy Chapter 4.LXXXIV.Laurence Sterne
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Re:
People like Gloria Allred will pop up whenever a fat person can't fit in a single airplane seat, but if a lefty sued for anything, I'd expect that person to be laughed at.

Lefties have sued (and have won) several lawsuits over lefty-hostile machinery and/or procedures. Two of the big suits fought and won, about
20 or 30 years ago, involved a Midwestern supermarket chain (JewelFoods) and the US Postal System.
In the Jewel Foods case, a left-handed cashier-trainee cashier documented that her supervisor required all cashiers to ignore the row of number-keys on the top of the cash-register keyboard (which both lefties and righties could type quickly and easily) and to use only the number-keys in the number-pad on the right edge of the keyboard (which the supervisor said "are quicker to type with" - true for right-handed trainees, but not for the training-class's sole left-hander). The left-hander worked with great speed and accuracy when illicitly using the top-row number-keys, but became unacceptably slow and inaccurate when following her boss's orders to use only the number-pad number-keys.

Similarly, in the US Postal System case, several left-handed employees got together and successfully overturned an over-100-year-old postal regulation requiring all post-office employees to use only their right hands in processing and sorting mail. (The regulation, written when the culture assumed universal right-handedness, had aimed to prevent intentional work-slowdowns by disgruntled employees intentionally doing their work in a slow and error-prone manner.) Now, postal regulations specify that an employee should use whichever hand s/he feels more comfortable using.
Another incident (1980s or 1990s, as I recall) involved the Educational Testing Service which designs the SATs and other standardized tests. Some of the left-handed students taking the SAT considered that their scores had suffered because they had had to take the exam in right-handed tablet-arm desks which had made it difficult and somewhat painful to "pencil in the bubbles" on the a/b/c/d multiple-choice test-forms throughout the several hours of the exam. Other left-handers, taking a job-aptitude exam, believed that this exam artificially lowered their scores because of including a series of questions like this:

"Look at these two columns of numbers. After each pair of numbers, write the larger of the two numbers in the space provided. You have 100 pairs of numbers on this part of the exam. TIME LIMIT - 2 minutes."

14 28
57 16
66 31
41 59 (etc.)
So? So ...
"The space provided" fell invariably at the extreme right edge of the test-booklet page - the columns of numbers appeared at the left edge of the page. On a time-critical exam, this made it very easy and quick for right-handers to see the numbers while comparing and writing them, but veryslow for left-handers to see/compare/write the numbers
(because the left hand would tend to block their view of the numbers, and in any case after viewing the numbers they would have to swing the left hand all the way to the right in order to write the answer.)

Because of test-takers' complaints and documentation re the effects of such procedures on their scores,
/a/ the Educational Testing Service (ETS) now asks all exam-takers to indicate (on their application to take a test) whether or not they write left-handed. If they indicate that they write left-handed, the ETS makes sure that they get lefty-friendly seating/desk arrangements (lefty tablet-arms or plain tables available for all lefties in the room) and also the ETS cancels the score of any left-hander who indicated left-handedness before the test but who then found himself/herself having to take the exam with unsuitable seating
and
/b/ ETS has re-designed job-aptitude questions of the "Write the larger number" variety so that they do not disadvantage either handedness:
14 28
57 16
66 31
41 59(etc.)
Note that lefty-hostile presentation continues to afflict many handwriting-instruction textbooks, which often present copy-examples as follows:
"Copy these letters and words"
a a a a a
aardvark
America
A left-handed beginner, trying to copy words on the left into a column on the right, inadvertently covers these words with the left hand while writing (meaning that s/he must form the letters from memory, without actually seeing the example of how to form them) - if s/he wants to see what/how s/he must write, s/he must either "hook" the hand (which teachers/textbooks often refuse to permit even for those lefties who find it natural and needful) or otherwise position the pen/hand/paper in some way that the handwriting-teacher and the textbook disapprove and will not permit (even if such a "wrong" position means better results, for this student, than the approved position of pen/hand/paper). Thankfully, a few textbook-publishers have noticed this and have re-arranged their handwriting-wordlists as follows:

a a a a a

aardvark

America
which generally permits both left- and right-handers to actually look at the example as they try to follow it. (Of course, this takes up more space on the page, which makes the books cost more because the books will have more pages to cover the same amount of material - and too many publishers, along with too many schools, value the low cost of a book far more than they value whether it will actually help students learn the subject.

I have - believe it or not - actually heard school-principals say: "Yes, I myself have observed that this book, which we currently use, directly causes handwriting problems in a fairly large percentage of the students. However, this book costs $0.50 less than any other book on the market, including a book which I agree would cause far fewer problems in the long run. Therefore, we must continue ordering the cheaper book."

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Re:

Had he had one it could have provided a pleasant ... worn clear is, as one would expect , the 'e').

Write it! ... especially if you can somehow tie it in with left-handedness. (Hmmm ... what about writing a psychological ... - so that he did not need to lose jobs over his refusal to type various computer-password, commands, and such.)

No problem - if he used Unix he could alias everything to exclude these letters.
It is quite a nice idea, I'll think about it...

Those who know anything about the matter are aware that every writer, from Epicurus to Bentham, who maintained the theory of utility, meant by it, not something to be contradistinguished from pleasure, but pleasure itself, together with exemption from pain; and instead of opposing the useful to the agreeable or the ornamental, have always declared that the useful means these, among other things. J.S.Mill Chapter II, Utilitarianism
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For another thing, universities or other schools that *do* for any reason order lefty desks often order just a "token" ... the lefties coping with right-handed desks, yet the administration can just say "Stop your bawling - we ORDER lefty desks!"

If we're talking about those chairs with a sort of widened arm to write on, I'm amazed they're still around. We had them at uni when I was there in the early 60s - usually about 1/3 left handed, and it seemed to me, I always ended up with a lefty. Even if you got one the "right" way round, they were still much more uncomfortable than a proper desk or table.

Rob Bannister
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
It may also be important, given the lateralisation of language in the brain, that one writes with one hand, but types with two.

That left-handed people type with their right hand presumably as well as they type with their left one, lends further evidence to the notion that left-handedness is all in the head, not that I necessarily support that view.

The strange part is that on a Qwerty keyboard the most-used letters are on the left. Although I'm a right-hander, I find certain words like "apology" quite difficult to type, or at least I have to think about them.

Rob Bannister
This left handed person types better with his left than his right.

I can't figure out how one types "better" with either hand. On the old manual typewriters, I suppose there might ... but on computer keyboards the idea of doing better with one hand or the other is completely alien to me.

My left hand types sequences of letters faster than my right hand. I can hold a document in my right hand and type entirely with my left hand quite easily, but typing entirely with my right is much slower and more awkward. And now you've made me conscious of it, I employ more of the fingers of my left hand than of my right in typing.

Chris Malcolm (Email Removed) +44 (0)131 651 3445 DoD #205 IPAB, Informatics, JCMB, King's Buildings, Edinburgh, EH9 3JZ, UK (http://www.dai.ed.ac.uk/homes/cam/)
I've never heard of a student being barred from an ... my middle teens. Pity computers have destroyed all that effort.

At least you have shopping lists, I assume, that can be easily read. I keep a notebook in my jacket ... too, but writing cheques in these days of bank cards, standing orders, and direct debits is becoming odder and odder.

I haven't used cheques for at least 2 decades, and, alas, my shopping lists are frequently illegible even to me.

Rob Bannister
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At least one study (I'll look up the citation next week when I return from business out of town this ... other words, an essay that got a C+ if typewritten or poorly handwritten would get a B+ if handwritten well.)

I don't doubt it. If you are struggling to read something (particularly something like an essay, where the marking is somewhat subjective anyway), you are not going to be favourably disposed towards the writer. On the other hand, I admit to a certain prejudice against a type of "girlie" handwriting with hearts over the i's accompanied by decorations and/or irrelevant pictures.

Rob Bannister
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