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No course in handwriting? Is that true in all American schools? That would explain the poor writing skills of most Americans.

We were taught handwriting in grade school in the first grade. I'm sure all schools do this.

Yeah, that's what I meant about Latvian schools, but I believe that it continued to be taught in second grade and possibly even longer. I know that a big deal was made of it, much to my grief.
Typing classes weren't available until either junior high school or high school. I can't imagine a high school with a course in handwriting. Locking the barn door, wot.

I agree.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
OK then. Lefties don't have different wiring from their brain to their hands, they only think they do.

You mean 'different from right-handers', presumably. If so, then you are wrong, there is plenty of empirical evidence that left-handed brains certainly are wired differently. It is beyond contention.

Well, excuse me. How is my brain wired, Mr Wonderful, seeing that I'm ambidextrous, more or less? How is yours wired, my contention being that you're more or less ambidextrous as well?
Charles Riggs
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Bob Lieblich Who took a typing course in seventh grade

The tenth grade for me. The young blonde instructor was so good looking and had such great ***, I spent more time looking at her than at the keyboard, if that is the right word. I type good today, though. Good, good, good.
She gave me an A+, God bless her.

Charles Riggs
You mean 'different from right-handers', presumably. If so, then you ... left-handed brains certainly are wired differently. It is beyond contention.

Well, excuse me. How is my brain wired, Mr Wonderful, seeing that I'm ambidextrous, more or less? How is yours wired, my contention being that you're more or less ambidextrous as well?

You certainly are excused - though I don't think being in error really requires excuse, it can happen to anybody. It is easily corrected by learning.
My name isn't 'Mr Wonderful', nor is it one of my aliases. So I'm assuming that you are conversing with me only because somebody of that appellation hasn't been part of the discussion thus far.

You and I were only, as far as I can see, discussing differences between the brains of sinister and non-sinister people - we used the metaphor of 'wiring' for fun, habit and convenience. I'd agree that the ambidextrous (or, probably more correctly, ambisinister) are a subset of the sinister.

If you are interested in the brain differences, there are many studies out there and, indeed, some good books. I'd recommend Stanley COren's 'The Left-Hander Syndrome : The Causes and Consequences of Left-Handedness' as a good place to start with an excellent set of references at the back. It is just over a decade old, but still well worth a read.
If you were interested in a particular result that I referred to relating to the thicker corpus callosum in left-handed males relative to the general population (of males, of course), you could do worse than look at 'Sexual dimorphism and handedness in the human corpus callosum based on magnetic resonance imaging' by Tuncer MC, Hatipoglu ES, Ozates M from the Anatomy Department in Diyarbakir which is to be found in the journal 'Surgical Radiological Anatomy' for the 29th January 2005. The abstract reads:
"
The corpus callosum (CC) is a major anatomical and functional commissure linking the two cerebral hemispheres. With MR imaging in the sagittal plane, the corpus callosum can be depicted in great detail. Mid-sagittal magnetic resonance images of 80 normal individuals were analyzed to assess whether or not the morphology of the corpus callosum and its parts are related to sex and handedness. The subjects were 40 males (20 right-handers and 20 left-handers) and 40 females (20 right-handers and20 left-handers). The midsagittal area of the corpus callosum wasdivided into seven sub-areas using Witelson's method. The most striking morphological changes concerned left-handers, who had larger areas of the anterior body, posterior body and isthmus than right-handers. In addition, right-handed males had larger rostrums and isthmuses than right-handed females. These significantly increased areas were related to handedness in right-handed males.

However, left-handed males had larger anterior and posterior bodies than right-handed males. In contrast, there was no significant difference between left-handers and right-handers in females. The areas of the rostrum and posterior body of the corpus callosum increased significantly with sex in males. Moreover, there were no significant age-related changes in the total corpus callosum and sub-areas of the corpus callosum. In conclusion, these anatomical changes in corpus callosum morphology require taking the sexual definition and dominant handedness into consideration.

"
This is the most recent of 47 studies on the subject of left-handedness and the corpus callosum to be found on medline - if you'd like to follow the research further there.

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We were taught handwriting in grade school in the first grade. I'm sure all schools do this.

Yeah, that's what I meant about Latvian schools, but I believe that it continued to be taught in second grade and possibly even longer. I know that a big deal was made of it, much to my grief.

All I really remember about being taught handwriting in the first grade is that we had to make rows of circles. Hard to describe here, but a circle where you kept making a circle over a circle.

The idea was to teach you to move the pen smoothly. We used stick pens with metal nibs, and dunked them in the desk's inkwell. The nib was split, of course, and it took some doing to learn to make the circles without the two sides of the nib going in different directions. There was a great spattering of ink involved. To add to the test, the writing paper was "soft" and the pen point would dig in when the ink soaked it.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Yeah, that's what I meant about Latvian schools, but I ... big deal was made of it, much to my grief.

All I really remember about being taught handwriting in the first grade is that we had to make rows of ... to the test, the writing paper was "soft" and the pen point would dig in when the ink soaked it.

We had to do the same (UK primary school, 1950s). The girls with plaits used to get their hair dipped in the inkwells regularly.

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
The areas of the rostrum and posterior body of
the corpus callosum increased significantly with sex in males.

Trying to follow along as best as I can, but that one is hard to follow. Any way you could paraphrase it for me? Or, more seriously, folk, could "sex" there be a thinko for "left-handedness"? CDB
The areas of the rostrum and posterior body of

the corpus callosum increased significantly with sex in males.

Trying to follow along as best as I can, but that one is hard to follow. Any way you could paraphrase it for me? Or, more seriously, folk, could "sex" there be a thinko for "left-handedness"? CDB

I'm not sure what you mean by a 'thinko', but the point is that the size of the corpus callosum differs between people depending on either their handedness or their sex. It is put a bit clumsily, I know.

As far as sex is concerned, women have larger cc's than men, as far as handedness is concerned, left-handed man have larger cc's than right handed ones. Handedness makes no difference (in this study) between women.

So, for males both handedness and sex are related to the size of the CC. In women, sex is the relevant factor, not handedness.

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All I really remember about being taught handwriting in the ... pen point would dig in when the ink soaked it.

We had to do the same (UK primary school, 1950s). The girls with plaits used to get their hair dipped in the inkwells regularly.

So did we, in a UK primary school from the mid-1940s. But we weren't allowed to graduate from pencils to stick pens and ink until the equivalent of American third grade, about eight years old. We were taught Round Hand in the Marion Richardson style.
http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/english/bibliography/handwriting/new web pages/acquisition.htm

"After the appearance of the unjoined Print Script it might have been expected that there would be a swing back to favour joined writing, and the system that Marion Richardson, who was a London Schools Inspector, introduced in 1935 recommended joining most but not all letters. She based her system on a series of writing patterns which were intended to provide a natural preparation for a handwriting style that could then be used throughout all school years. The letters are more complex than the Print Script forms, but they do not have the loops and curls of Looped Cursive; the most distinctive forms of the pure Marion Richardson system are the long open /f/ and the open /b/ and /p/."
A sample of Marion Richardson style is shown at the top on web pages/rhand.htm

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Hertfordshire, England
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