language and mind

August 3, 2011

The bona fide ambidexterity

Filed under: language, psycholinguistics, psychology — teresapelka @ 6:34 am

The sinister years of forced right-handedness fortunately are over. Should your preference be to whiffle at your pen running dry or have the famed Norfolk accident (that is, blotting paper) for your manacle – you do have your absolutely free will to make your pick or even go for both the prospects. ;)

Well, seriously, there could be a way round. :)

The bad fame of left-handedness would come from ancient times. The contemporary English ‘sinister’ comes from Latin, in which it meant ‘on the left (hand) side’, ‘improper’ as well as ‘injurious’. Probably, left-handed soldiers using their right hand techniques could employ their left hands still and that could end up baleful. Obviously, the evaluation of the outcome may depend on the side you are on. ;) The contemporary English ‘left’ is derived from the Latin ‘laevus’, ‘fortunate’, ‘lucky’, and ‘propitious’ in the language of the augurs.

Left-handed people happen to have their left hemispheres dominant for language. The fact about laterality has an implication: most people can choose their hand to write, handedness is not a biological doom. Right-handedness for writing needn’t be fate, either. ;)

Most people learn to write in their childhoods. Provided the flexibility little humans tend to have forming their language habits, failure to teach a child to use his or her right hand for writing could be mostly the result of trying to use overgeneralized comments on quotient for the motivation. Pressure does not help shaping new pathways for language.

Kids respond well to examples. If you write anything for them using your ‘worse’ hand, they are really likely to get the thought that they can use their ‘other’ hands, too. Finger painting the letters of the alphabet all fingers one by one can do a good job. Holding a painting brush over a large sheet of paper could be a good introduction to holding a pen over a copy book. The most important thing might be ease, however. :)

The Latin alphabet writing convention takes writing from the left to the right. Using your left hand usually requires the ‘manacle’ – you tend to blur what you write as you go. Showing the kid the difference can be the best of motivations (!) :)

I have been always right-handed myself. I had this luck that my dad brought plenty of stationery for me when I was little – crayons, copy books, paints, whatever you could think about. I never had any stress learning to write. When I didn’t like the way my writing looked like, I just ditched the piece. I could read and write before I went to school. This could be good for left-handed kids, too. :)

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  1. [...] The bona fide ambidexterity ( [...]

    Pingback by Today’s Birthday: Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876) | euzicasa — August 12, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

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