In times past, bias against left-handed people was conscious and acceptable. Lefties like me can breathe a sigh of relief that the cruelest practices against us have fallen into disuse and begun to seem barbaric, at least in Western culture. People are becoming increasingly aware that a bias of form still inhibits us to an extent: We encounter right-handed scissors, computer mice set up for right-handed people, musical instruments we find clumsy to use, and a left-to-right written language that can lead to ink smudges for us lefties.

Changes have been slowly happening on this front; but another, more entrenched problem remains unsolved: that of language. As the remnants of the older, more conscious anti-left-handed mood, our language keeps its warts.
Imagine this scenario, if you will. A man suffers a heart attack and is taken to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. An concerned party may ask, "How is he doing?" Some possible responses show the gravity of the situation I describe:
Response A: "He's all right now. The doctor said he should stay off his feet for a while and follow a strict diet. They're going to monitor his health closely."
Response B: "I'm sorry I have to break this to you: The essence of his life has left him. He wanted me to give you this if you didn't make it in time."
In Response A, 'right' is associated with something positive, a condition of well-being. In Response B, in contrast, 'left' is associated with something negative, the absence of something essential. More bias can be found examining the etymologies of words of non-English origin.
* SINISTER: 'Sinister' is the Latin word for 'left.' Unfortunately, it has come to be associated with malevolence in modern English.

* AMBIDEXTROUS: 'Ambidextrous' derives from Latin and Greek words and means having both hands function as right hands would. Not only does this etymology devalue the innate qualities of the left hand, it is at odds with facts: Ambidexters frequently have a slight preference for their left hand, not the right one.
* GAUCHE: 'Gauche' is the French word for 'left,' but in English it has taken the meaning of awkward and clumsy.
* ADROIT: 'Adroit' comes from French, too, meaning 'on the right.' In English it means clever and skillful.
'Right' also some nondirectional meanings: an adjective meaning correct and a noun meaning a legal freedom. The latter usage occurs too in French, with 'droits' being rights. E.g., "La declaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen" (The declaration of the rights of man and citizen).
I propose we abandon these insensitive usages and leave them for our history books. They all have synonyms that do not implicitly devalue left-handedness, except ambidextry, which will require a neologism like both-handedness.
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@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:
In times past, bias against left-handed people was conscious and acceptable. Lefties like me can breathe a sigh of relief ... books. They all have synonyms that do not implicitly devalue left-handedness, except ambidextry, which will require a neologism like both-handedness.

Most amusing, but not worth more of a response.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor
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'"History," Hegel said, "is a slaughterhouse."
And war is how the slaughter is carried out.'
Sydney H. Schanberg, The Village Voice ,
May 17th, 2005
In times past, bias against left-handed people was conscious and acceptable. Lefties like me can breathe a sigh of relief ... should stay off his feet for a while and follow a strict diet. They're going to monitor his health closely."

Fortunately, he has almost all his heart tissue left. He'll have left the hospital in another day or two. I'd say he has a long life left to him.
Response B: "I'm sorry I have to break this to you: The essence of hislife has left him. > He wanted me to give you this if you didn't make it in time."

He's right on the edge of death. I don't expect him to last long. Let's hope he goes right to heaven.

Bob Lieblich
No lefty
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
In times past, bias against left-handed people was conscious and acceptable.(with more triteness following)

Dead Horse.
In times past, bias against left-handed people was conscious and acceptable. Lefties like me can breathe a sigh of relief ... instruments we find clumsy to use, and a left-to-right written language that can lead to ink smudges for us lefties.

Not to mention the most serious problem of all to us left-handers: all punch bowl pourers are made to pour for right-handed people. This creates problems for me almost every day.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
I propose we abandon these insensitive usages and leave them for our history books.

You've only got a few brain cells left, right?

Ian.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
In times past, bias against left-handed people was conscious and acceptable. Lefties like me can breathe a sigh of relief ... remains unsolved: that of language. As the remnants of the older, more conscious anti-left-handed mood, our language keeps its warts.

(snip)
I propose we abandon these insensitive usages

I propose you get over them.
Adrian
In times past, bias against left-handed people was conscious and acceptable. Lefties like me can breathe a sigh of relief ... us lefties. Changes have been slowly happening on this front; but another, more entrenched problem remains unsolved: that of language.

A more pressing issue is the poor selection of baseball mitts for southpaws found in your typical sporting goods store.

J.
In times past, bias against left-handed people was conscious and ... but another, more entrenched problem remains unsolved: that of language.

A more pressing issue is the poor selection of baseball mitts for southpaws found in your typical sporting goods store.

I was always last-chosen in baseball. I'm a lefty, and my father wouldn't buy me a left-handed mitt. When the ball was hit to me, I had to catch it in the mitt, transfer the ball to my right hand, throw off the mitt, transfer the ball back to my left hand, and then throw the ball.

Tony Cooper
Orlando FL
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