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It’s a right-handed world: What does it mean to be left-handed?

     There is something special about being in the estimated 10th percentile of the entire world’s population. The left hand is nondominant for most, but for a group of us, there is a little something special that genetically caused us to be dominant with that hand. But what does that exactly mean? Personally, living left-handed has given me a perspective that is similar to most other lefties and I was curious as to what special things are rumored and factual about being left-handed. Here are a couple of facts that maybe you didn’t know about lefties.

There is “National Left-Handed Day”

     Yup, we did it. There is an official day celebrating the small group of us in the world. Though Aug. 13 just passed a little more than a month ago, lefties should continue to celebrate when they awkwardly grab a mug or go for a handshake.

Left used to be a sign of the devil

     Getting right to the root of left-handed people’s issues; left-handedness used to be considered an extremely bad thing. Many online sources write about art depicting the devil as left-handed and how the Catholic Church performs all of their blessings with the right hand. To top it off, the word “left” translates to “sinister” in Latin. Sinistrophobia is the technical term for the fear of left-handedness.

Lefties are possibly smarter

     According to a study by St. Lawrence University, test results concluded that there were more left-handed people with IQs over 140 than right-handed individuals. Some of these left-handed geniuses include Benjamin Franklin and Sir Isaac Newton.

Left-handed celebrities

     Robert De Niro, Angelina Jolie, Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, Seth Rogan, Lisa Kudrow, Morgan Freeman and Mark Wahlberg are just a few.

Lefties have an advantage in sports

     When competing in one-on-one sports, most athletes train to go against a right-handed competitor. Left-handed athletes have the advantage over right-handed athletes because they train against right-handed competitors while understanding how left-handers maneuver. Michael Tauber, sophomore, said, “being left-handed is good in baseball. It is to your advantage to be a left-handed hitter against a right-handed pitcher. Plus, you only are played in one of four positions: hitter, pitcher, first base or outfield.”

Lefties struggle with daily items

     To this day, I still cringe when I buy a notebook and see the silver spiral binding. Taking notes becomes an immediate issue and the only way to fix it is to contort my wrist until I am far enough across the page to relax. The best part comes when turning the page and not having to worry about the rings attacking your every stroke of the lead.

     When it comes to classroom desks, they are not very helpful at all. Dario D’Amato, freshman, says, “in classes, most of the left-handed desks are in one section of the classroom.” The desks tend to be against the left-most location in a traditional classroom, or in larger lecture halls they are the left-most seat. It is hard to find a left-handed desk in the middle of the classroom and if there was, a right-handed student tends to switch the desks around until the lefty desk is thrown to a corner. With this issue comes an adjustment over time. D’Amato adds, “at this point, I am accustomed to right-handed desks at this point.”

There is an online store dedicated to left-handed items

     Yes, it is true. Anyone can purchase any left-handed materials at websites such as Lefty’s the Left Hand Store and Amazon. Sites like these offer some of the best accommodations for the struggling lefty, such as better formed scissors, notebooks with the rings on the right side and tablet sleeves that open from the left. Due to the special circumstances that would require you to buy such items, expect to pay more for these since they aren’t in high production as compared to the traditional, right-handed items.


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Cody Deitz, Author

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