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Good thing most, if not all, pens aren't right-handed or any number of lefties would be bitching about them too.

For some reason, the nuns would not allow us to use ball-point pens. The "cartridge pens" we used were definitely ... his pen. I don't use "wet ink" pens much anymore, and the hook in my grip has largely straightened out.

So how on earth can you see what you're writing, since your hand must cover what you've written.

Rob Bannister
For some reason, the nuns would not allow us to ... and the hook in my grip has largely straightened out.

So how on earth can you see what you're writing, since your hand must cover what you've written.

Since I "gave up" upside-down writing in grade school, I had to test this since I can still do it. My hand is not above the writing as I write, but the underside of the left hand follows the writing a few inches. If the ink is still wet, the ink smears. In my grade school days, we used the stick pen and an inkwell in the desktop. No sand shakers, though.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
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Good thing most, if not all, pens aren't right-handed or any number of lefties would be bitching about them too.

For some reason, the nuns would not allow us to use ball-point pens. The "cartridge pens" we used were definitely ... his pen. I don't use "wet ink" pens much anymore, and the hook in my grip has largely straightened out.

Some pens, when used left-handed, will gradually retract their nibs. These are the ones that you twist one half to close. I find that the pocket clip-thingy stops the entire pen turning in my grip and I am writing with a gradually disappearing nib.

Richard Bollard
Canberra, Australia
One can analogize the right handed lefted handedness, with gay and straightness. If one is born a certain way, then ... else. There were societies which scorned lefties, as much as our society scorns gays. Both kind of ridiculous.

It's an interesting analogy but one that is a bit too black and white for me. It leaves out the third possibility for both cases, the ones that fit all of us to one degree or another: we are all born bisexual and we all born ambidextrous.
Most of us lean towards being attracted to the one sex or to the other, but all of us are attracted, whether we want to admit it or not, to people of the same sex as ourselves, to at least some degree.

It is the same with handedness. AUE has a member who stubbornly insists his right hand won't function properly, but that is poppycock. If he'd take the time to teach it things, he'd find it was capable of much. He might never become as ambidextrous as I am, but since he is already ambidextrous to some degree, he can't make the claim he is solely left-handed. It's all a matter of degree.

Charles Riggs
And why are left-handed people often such whiners? I've known ... you'll be likely to hear from me on the subject.

It's righties who are the whiners. If a righty has to sit down behind a left handed computer, you'll hear about it approximately 100% of the time. They can't deal with it. The same goes for giving them lefty scissors.

I'm not sure what a left-handed computer is. I keep my mouse on the left side of mine; do I have one? I don't complain about it for it seems the logical place for a mouse for someone who normally writes with his right hand.
As for scissors, I found yesterday I can use a right-handed pair in my left hand nearly as well as in the other hand. If I were a whiner, I might make a few complaints if I had to use scissors that way, but I have taught myself not to be a whiner. I was one at one stage in my life.
Where is Sgt. Sand, anyway?
Besides, if you cross-post to alt.lefthanders, it makes as much sense for people to whine about these things as it makes for you to whine about English usage.

I see there is no such group as alt.righthanders. If we were the overbearing brutes some lefties consider us to be, always forcing them when children to write with the 'wrong' hand, wouldn't we have a group to further push our agenda?

Charles Riggs
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Good thing most, if not all, pens aren't right-handed or any number of lefties would be bitching about them too.

For some reason, the nuns would not allow us to use ball-point pens. The "cartridge pens" we used were definitely ... his pen. I don't use "wet ink" pens much anymore, and the hook in my grip has largely straightened out.

OK, John, but the problem arose because you were using your left hand to write words in a world were sentences read left to right. If it were the other way around in our culture, it'd make good sense for us to practice up on writing with the left hand. As things stand, it makes good sense to practice writing with the right hand for those who think they are able to do so.

Charles Riggs
Besides, if you cross-post to alt.lefthanders, it makes as much ... as it makes for you to whine about English usage.

I see there is no such group as alt.righthanders. If we were the overbearing brutes some lefties consider us to be, always forcing them when children to write with the 'wrong' hand, wouldn't we have a group to further push our agenda?

No need. 89% of people are right handed, so, with such an overwhelming majority it is possible to persecute the minority simply by not taking them into account. Which is, of course, what has happened.

Human Rights are necessary not to protect the majority, but to protect minorities from the predations of the majority. Not because the majority is necessarily more evil than the minority, but, again, simply because their power renders them dangerous.

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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It's an interesting analogy but one that is a bit too black and white for me. It leaves out the ... we want to admit it or not, to people of the same sex as ourselves, to at least some degree.

The above is simply a misunderstanding of the facts. A high level of testosterone at particular stages of pregnancy can, and does, lead to left handedness - it is an environmental syndrome, but not post-birth. There is some genetic component as well, as the Kerr family shows. There is also an alternative aetiology, perinatally, where brain damage preferentially damages the left-hemisphere leading to left-handedness.

Similarly with homosexuality, there is a genetic component, but an excess of testosterone in the womb, at a different stage of pregnancy, can lead to homosexuality. It isn't a 'life choice', but a state of being - as homosexual goats and other animals proves. The genetic component is, most recently, explained as providing a syndrome with a higher libido and a strong attraction to men - both of these lead to increased fecundity when they occur in women which explains why the syndrome has persisted where evolutionary development would otherwise have led homosexuality to have died out (for the obvious reason that most homosexuals don't leave descendants).
So homosexuality and left-handedness are strongly linked, both by similar aetiology and by being mainly masculine conditions (through the shared link with testosterone). It is not true that most left-handers are homosexual. It is, however, true that more homosexuals are left-handed than heterosexuals.
The consequences of this are easy to observe if you go to the cinema or to a play. More actors are homosexual than the general population and, if you look, you'll see a huge number of actors are left-handed.

You'll also find far more mathematicians and chess players left-handed than you'd expect from the proportions in the general population - but that is for a different reason, left-handedness promotes the spatial abilities of men which are particularly valuable in maths and chess (as well as some sports).
The persecution of left-handers is long standing as words such as 'sinister', 'cack-handed', 'gauche', and 'widdershins' attest.

For the record, in case anybody thinks any of the above derogatory of the sinister, I was, as a strong left-hander, forced to write with my right hand when I first went to school - the pencil was taped to my right hand when I arrived in the morning, to prevent me from using my left. It didn't work.
All persons are deemed to have a right to equality of treatment, except when some recognised social expediency requires the reverse. And hence all social inequalities which have ceased to be considered expedient, assume the character not of simple inexpediency, but of injustice, and appear so tyrannical, that people are apt to wonder how they ever could have been tolerated; forgetful that they themselves perhaps tolerate other inequalities under an equally mistaken notion of expediency, the correction of which would make that which they approve seem quite as monstrous as what they have at last learnt to condemn.

The entire history of social improvement has been a series of transitions, by which one custom or institution after another, from being a supposed primary necessity of social existence, has passed into the rank of an universally stigmatized injustice and tyranny. So it has been with the distinctions of slaves and freemen, nobles and serfs, patricians and plebeians; and so it will be, and in part already is, with the aristocracies of colour, race, and sex.

J.S.Mill Chapter V. Utilitarianism
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It's righties who are the whiners. If a righty has ... with it. The same goes for giving them lefty scissors.

I'm not sure what a left-handed computer is. I keep my mouse on the left side of mine; do I have one? I don't complain about it for it seems the logical place for a mouse for someone who normally writes with his right hand.

I'm not sure what logic has to do with it, though it happens that I use the same arrangement because it feels natural to me - mouse left, pen right.

However, you only need to spend a little time helping newcomers to use computers, or simply observing how others use them, for it to be come clear that a great many people are completely helpless with the wrong hand, and that the "helpless hand" is far more often the left one than the right one. I guess it just means that left handed people are accustomed to dealing with a world that is the wrong way round for them, and right-handed people are not, probably because they rarely need to try.
Rod.
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