View Full Version : I am a semi-leftie. I can't be alone

scott evil
05-23-2002, 10:16 PM
The only thing I do exclusively with my left hand is write. Writing with your left hand makes you a leftie, right? I don't think so. I do everything else like a right-hander. Scissors, eating, etc. - even that... :eek: I smoke with either hand, though, and can drink coffee out of a mug with either hand holding the handle.

It's weird, because my mother tells me that when I was little, I was ambidextrous, and would often switch hands while drawing or writing.

It doesn't bother me to be kind of ambidextrous, but I have to say, the way I write with my left hand is weird and can be quite painful during long exams etc. On top of that, there's all the pencil lead or ink that collects on the heel of the left hand.

I can't be the only one...

- s.e.

05-23-2002, 10:21 PM
My brother writes and eats left handed, but in all else, (well, don't know about that), he is right hand dominant.

I am right handed in everything including rifle shooting, yet I am left handed in archery. I can easily train myself to do things left handed, it is just not natural.

Smashed Ice Cream
05-23-2002, 10:57 PM
I write with both hands equally well. (I started out with my left, but broke that arm twice in a year) Everything else is split between one hand of the other - I eat left handed, throw with my right, surf goofy foot, grab things with my right.

I always wonder if that's not nature for 'lefties' - since the world is pretty much set up for right handed people.

I once worked in a lab with 12 other employees - all of us were left handed. I always thought that was cool.

05-23-2002, 11:11 PM
You know, this is second time in two days I can use this ...

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

And it wasn't any funnier the 1st time either.

Cat Whisperer
05-23-2002, 11:35 PM
I am right-hand dominant, but barely. I can do just about everything with my left hand, including write (I always type "nad" for "hand" - what kind of Freudian slip is that!?!) I'm curious about other partially or completely ambidextrous people - do you have problems distinguishing right from left, or is that just me? Also, are you good at doing two different things with each hand?

Improv Geek
05-23-2002, 11:39 PM
I am very funny when it comes to left and right.

I write best with my right though I can write messy with my left (mostly from lack of practice), I drive left, I dial a phone right handed (yes I actually noticed I can't dial numbers on a phone with my left hand) and I eat with my left.

But when it comes to jewelry, I wear a ring on my right hand and a bracelet on my left wrist. I don't know why - but they don't feel right on the other sides. And I fill my right pockets most frequently, wallet, keys, change, cell phone - all in my right pockets.

Tis very odd - eh?

Already in Use
05-23-2002, 11:40 PM
I thought I was ambidextrous in kindergarten, as I used to write for a while with one hand and switch hands. But the actual reason was that I held the pencil in my fist, so I got tired pretty quickly, and it's pretty much equally clumsy writing with your right and left fist, no matter which hand is dominant. Unfortunately, my teacher eventually caught on to my writing style and made me use one of those idiotic triangular grip things on the pencil to teach me the correct way. Hmmph. It was fun the way I used to do it.

05-23-2002, 11:40 PM
Me, too scott evil. My mom and one of my brothers are true lefties and I guess when I was learning to write I imitated them. Several of my teachers early on gave me a hard time because I would print on the black board with my right.

05-23-2002, 11:53 PM
Same here. I eat, bat and write left-handed. I'm almost exclusively right-handed for everything else including playing tennis and shooting a gun.

Eva Luna
05-23-2002, 11:56 PM
Scott, you're not alone...much like Smashed Ice Cream, I tend to do fine motor coordination things (like writing) with my left hand and gross motor coordination things (like sports) with my right. Then again, I've always sucked at sports, so who knows whether that's a result of my own klutziness, or of the fact that people don't know how to teach sports to a lefty.

My guitar teacher cringed with apprehension on the first day of Level 1 class, when he asked if anyone was a lefty and I raised my hand. Imagine trying to teach 2 sets of fingerings simultaneously to a class of 15 people who already are pretty clueless...to play guitar as a lefty, you have to string the thing backwards and figure out mirror images of all the chord fingerings...so he was very relieved when I said I planned to play righty. (The only pro lefty guitarist I can think of is Paul McCartney, but these kinds of things probably don't stress him out anymore.)

BTW, calligraphy sucks even worse for lefties than writing with a pencil: if anyone has discovered a way to keep from getting ink all down the left side of your hand, please post it!

Jeep's Phoenix
05-24-2002, 12:03 AM
As far as writing, eating, brushing my teeth, etc. I'm pretty much ambidextrous. However, I prefer to use my left hand for writing in print and my right hand for writing in cursive. I'm exclusively right-handed for shooting (guns and archery) and power tools.

05-24-2002, 01:05 AM
I'm just about completely ambidextrous.

I write predominantly with my right hand for the reasons that scott mentioned; however, I can use my left hand when need be. (For example, doing a crossword with another person who is sitting on my left - rather than reaching accross my body with my right hand, I just write with my left hand).

I draw/paint with either - left for the left side of the paper, right for the right.

I can throw/pitch equally well with either hand, play pool with either, bat with either, play guitar with either (not very well), etc. etc.

I can eat with chopsticks using either (this always impresses my SIL to no end).

And to answer featherlou, I quite often do something with one hand, and a different task with the other, at the same time. This is particularly useful when cooking - I stir/mix with one hand and grate/chop with the other - very time saving. :)

05-24-2002, 01:21 AM
I always tell people I am semi-ambidextrous -- I can do a half-assed job with either hand! :D

I usually use my left hand for anything that involves the wrist and dexterity -- writing, eating, tennis. And the right hand for anything that involves strength, lifting, etc.

But for a whole lot of things it is handy to be ambidextrous. It is very useful, for instance to use the screwdriver in one hand on one side of a panel you are working on and in the other hand on the other side with very little loss of dexterity.

Interesting point, I was also married to a lefty. She was a potter at one time and I modified the motor on the potter's wheel to rotate in the opposite direction to make it easier for her.

As far as occupations go, I've always heard it was artists who were more likely to be left-handed, but I thought it was interesting that in a group of about 30 electronic technicians, about half of us were left-handed as compared to about 12 (?) percent of the general population.

05-24-2002, 03:23 AM
I'm a righty, but I hold a hockey stick left-handed (right hand near the top of the stick, left hand down towards the blade).

Matter of fact, dominant-hand-on-top seems just so ... right ... that I'm surprised most righties don't do it, as well. Empirical evidence indicates that they don't, though: in my limited experience the vast majority of sticks you'll find in a random (say, school-supplied) batch of floor hockey sticks are curved the wrong way for me - in response to the anticipated demand. Whatever - it means that I'm lucky to dig out a stick that I can comfortably use.

I golf righty. I swing a baseball bat righty. I do everything right-handed. In this one arena though, I feel the pain of the lefty's life. :) You folks have my sympathies....

Johnny L.A.
05-24-2002, 06:16 AM
I can write with my left hand, but seldom do. But I use my mouse left-handed, which is srange because even my left-handed co-workers have their mouse devices to the right of their keyboards.

I can throw darts and swing baseball bats left-handed.

05-24-2002, 07:34 AM
Originally posted by Smashed Ice Cream
I once worked in a lab with 12 other employees - all of us were left handed. I always thought that was cool.

Actually, left-handedness is more common among scientists than the population as a whole; I have worked in dozens of labs (contract employee), and only twice have been the only leftie.
The equipment is often set up for left-handed people in labs (subtle things, like having a space to write to the left instead of the right of a work area, or the pipettes on the left [dexterity] and the solvent container on the right [strength]).
Right-hand dominant people have a much harder time with work areas set up for lefties.

I used to be able to do anything BUT write with my right hand; now I can't even mop a floor with my right arm. Have other left-hand dominants lost dexterity with the right arm with age?

05-24-2002, 08:45 AM
I'm abidextrous in that I can do any task with either hand, but I do have strong preferences for certain activities.

I generally write with my right hand, because it is almost always more convenient. I switched back and forth until my first grade teacher made me use my right only. I had some pretty serious problems with left-right for a while, writing often in mirror writing unintenionally. It still shows up when I do something with the "wrong hand." When I use my left hand to write letters with circles in them (p, b, etc) I often make the circle counter clockwise, which isn't a big deal, except that my pencil isn't quite where I expect it to be when I start the next letter. And since I almost always open jars and turn faucets with my left, I will turn the wrong way if I use my right unless I consciously remind myself which way it goes.

Being able to use either hand is quite useful when doing things like shaving my legs or applying makeup. I don't have to reach across my body or contort my arm awkwardly; I just switch back and forth to use whichever hand is more convenient.

Why A Duck
05-24-2002, 09:01 AM
I'm a lefty for things that I had to learn to do myself (i.e. writing, brushing my teeth, eating, etc.). For things that someone (usually a righty) had to teach me to do (i.e.sports) I tend to bat for the other team.

For that, I'm usually a lefty, although occasionally it's nice to vary the routine.

05-24-2002, 09:03 AM
Yup. I write right-handed, most stuff is righty. But. My watch is on my right wrist, I play hockey left-handed and shoot rifles left handed.

I switched to lefty on the rifle when I found out my master eye is my left, which, apparently, is uncommon for the right-handed.

05-24-2002, 11:21 AM
I'm left-handed for everything except scissors. I can't use left-handed scissors at all.

Neither of my kids seemed to care which hand they used for quite a while. My daughter settled on being right handed at about 4 years. My son is almost there at 3 years, but still eats left-handed sometimes.

05-24-2002, 12:37 PM
I'm glad there are others who are screwed up like I am. Let's see, I write, eat, paint & shave, with my left. For sports, I bat right, throw right, catch both, shoot (hockey) both*, shoot (gun) left. I also find my left hand is better at dexterity-related skills, and my right at strength, but sometimes it's reversed for no reason I can find.

* I played both baseball and hockey. Now, a goalie shoots with the same hand he catches with. Before I was a goalie, I always threw right (therefore catch left), and shot right. So the first few years of being a goalie, I caught right and shot right. Then, I switched and for about the last eight years I've been catching and shooting left. My 'shot', if you can call it that, has gotten a lot better than when I started with my left. But if I play street hockey or whatever now, I shoot right, as I used to.

05-24-2002, 12:54 PM
Originally posted by Eva Luna
Scott, you're not alone...much like Smashed Ice Cream, I tend to do fine motor coordination things (like writing) with my left hand and gross motor coordination things (like sports) with my right.That's exactly the way I am. I sometimes say "I'm left-handed but right-armed." I'm glad to hear other people are the same way, because when I tell people that the muscles in my right arm are stronger, they often tell me that that's impossible. I'm pretty ambidextrous. I would be more ambidextrous if I had practiced using my right hand more as a child. My mom is left-handed, and I suspect she pushed left-handedness on me to some extent.

Batsinma Belfry
05-24-2002, 02:15 PM
I write with my left hand, everything else I use my right hand.

05-24-2002, 02:39 PM
Both my wife and I are fairly accurate mirror images of your condition Scott -- we both write right-handed (but can produce a more-or-less-legible scrawl with our left), but have the left hand dominant for most other skills -- I throw a ball much more accurately left-handed, always bowl left-handed, etc. Barb is not quite so left-dominant as I but tends to use her left hand for non-clerical activities.

05-24-2002, 03:20 PM
I also have this same trait, i eat and write with my left hand but I am right handed in every other respect. I think the term for it would be 'schizodexterous.' (doesn't sound flattering, and i made it up, but it describes the trait perfectly)

05-24-2002, 07:13 PM
Originally posted by scott evil
The only thing I do exclusively with my left hand is write. Writing with your left hand makes you a leftie, right? I don't think so. I do everything else like a right-hander. Scissors, eating, etc. - even that... :eek: I smoke with either hand, though, and can drink coffee out of a mug with either hand holding the handle.

Dad, is that you? My dad makes the same claim- he only writes with his left hand, and uses his right for most everything else. Which is radically different than me, since their are only a few things I do better with my right hand- use a mouse, open things with a can-opener, play skeetball or bowl, and, as I discovered yesterday, make plastic frogs jump into a container. I do use my right hand for other things, of course, but usually it doesn't work out as well for me as if I'd used my left.

05-24-2002, 07:41 PM
I'm almost exclusively right handed except for shooting cause my right eye is almost worthless(do they make bows with sights for left handed shooting? because I have to lean over with my left eye and it's hard to get accuracy). My left hand is also my beer and cigarette hand, holding them in the right just doesn't feel right.

05-24-2002, 07:50 PM
I'm a righty, but I hold a hockey stick left-handed (right hand near the top of the stick, left hand down towards the blade).

Same here. I recall playing intramural ice hockey in college, and being the only one on the team who played lefty (even the person who was actually left-handed played righty). I was always afraid my stick would break and I wouldn't be able to borrow anyone else's. My last semester there, the team gained another left-handed player, but he just held a righty stick backwards. On the plus side, it always made sense to put me as left defenseman.

I also do cartwheels lefty (left hand plants first), but that's about it.

05-25-2002, 12:54 PM
I do most activities left-handed - play field sports, iron (when forced, loathe ironing), cook, eat, catch, brush my teeth...in fact, pretty much everything but write. If I attempt to write left-handed, it's more illegible than my 4 year old niece and just feels plain wrong. My eye-to-hand reflexes are faster with my left-hand. I only really write and smoke with my right hand. My younger sister is a leftie when writing and the mirror-example of me. Except the smoking, I just get lectured about that.

And I just noticed that I always use my right hand when using 'mouse devices';)

05-25-2002, 06:15 PM
I'll have to second Brad_d, especially the hockey stick! And pretty much everything else he said, too! :)

Mrs. Labtrash is a lefty, though!

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