View Full Version : Lefties!

04-19-2013, 08:50 AM
Hi Everybody,

I saw some comments beside a cryptogram that I had solved that led me to thinking...
How many of you cryptogrammers are lefties?
I'm wondering if there is a higher percentage of lefties on this site than you would find in the general public.
Just for the record, yes, I am a lefty, as are my husband, 3 of our kids, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and 2 of my brothers-in-law. So my family is heavy on the south paws. Thus the curiosity, I guess.

04-19-2013, 05:14 PM
Here's another one. (And my crypto-twin, Lurker)

Qwerty keyboards favor lefties, with most of the often-used letters on the left hand. Perhaps that's part of our speed in online cryptos.

04-19-2013, 09:46 PM
I'm not sure I agree with that Lurker. I'm right-handed, but I only type with my left hand when solving cryptograms.

04-20-2013, 03:48 AM
If I remember my history of the typewriter correctly, the original mechanical design had the keys in alphabetical order. It wasn't long before typists became so adept and fast (bansai-ed?) that these early models kept jamming as the returning typebars could not get out of the way of subsequent type bars.

The QWERTY arrangement was designed specifically for left-handed people and since there weren't many left-handed typists (momof7's family notwithstanding), this forced the right-handers to slow down and reduce thr frequency of jamming.

04-20-2013, 05:26 AM
@gryhnd - If you type left-handed, maybe you're a secret lefty! :) Although I play most sports right-handed, and I'm most definitely a lefty.

The secret test is which leg goes first when you put on pants or shoes? It should be the opposite one of your dominant side. Ergo, lefty=right leg first.

Lily H
04-20-2013, 05:58 AM
I agree with Greyhound. I'm definitely right-handed, but I do most of my cryptogram typing with my left hand. That's so that I have my right hand free to use the mouse instead of tabbing to letters. I find it much faster to click a letter box with the mouse than to tab tab tab to the letter box I want. Once I have the quote figured out, I type with both hands.

04-20-2013, 08:08 AM
not necessarily, lurkersmurf---i'm a strong righty, and lead with my right foot when doing just about everything---i can't imagine putting on my left shoe first!
i just googled it, and the results i saw were mixed.

04-20-2013, 09:03 AM
How interesting!

I'm right-handed and use both hands while typing and playing this game - (although I am constantly having to correct myself for typos.)

Anyhow, the pants/shoes thing is intriguing. In skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding there is a thing called goofy-foot. It refers to one who "leads" with their right foot - those that lead with the left are called regular.

I've only snowboarded once, but one has to be fitted for their stance and your boots are snapped onto the board. Anyhow, I figured I would be regular. I turns out I'm goofy. The whole day I kept spinning around in circles. I've since realized that if I hop on a skateboard, I naturally want to lead with my right...


04-20-2013, 09:23 AM
that particular wiki site seemed only to be about footedness, with no relationship to handedness.
i was once a super-speedy typist (100+ wpm), but now, due to disability, spend much of my time lying on my side, propped on left elbow, typing with my right hand. this does not promote speed or accuracy, but i still have fun!

04-20-2013, 09:46 PM
Oh, yeah, I was referring to what LurkerSmurf had posted - I thought is was interesting.

04-21-2013, 04:24 AM
montyb is correct about the keyboard's history.

I'm a righty, but prefer a computer mouse be on my left (although it still keeps the "right hand click" for when my husband uses it). I also am lefty with my coffee cup and a few other things.

As a high school student--back in the day of manual typewriters, discos, and the like--I was copy editor for our biweekly high school news page in our local paper as well as our school's monthly publication. While I was helping move furniture into the new library/media center, I wound up smashing the first 2 fingers on my right hand between two pieces of furniture, forcing me to wear a splint for a couple of months. By the time it was over, I was able to type with my left hand with nearly the same speed/accuracy as with two hands and without the hunt and peck method.

Right now, my 17 year old cat, Tigger, is laying on my left arm while I type this.

04-21-2013, 04:29 AM
"Hand-dominance" has to do with which of our two brain hemispheres we prefer to use.

04-21-2013, 06:31 AM
Down with the bourgeoisie! Up with the proletariat! Power to the worke........wait.
Lefties!? I thought it said leftists. That's what I get for being cheap and buying mail-order glasses.

04-21-2013, 03:39 PM
I was reading thru everyone's posts on this topic. I am a lefty; however, over the years I learned to do many things right-handed. Perhaps I was an oddball because I simply did not like being left-handed? I always hated the fact, and still do, that when I write I end up with ink all over the outside of my hand, which doesn't seem to happen to righties. In addition, no matter what I try, when I write I always end up blocking my light with my own hand. It is very troublesome! I am strictly a rightie when it comes to a mouse because computers didn't even exist back when I completed my conversion to semi-rightie-ness. I have tried left-handed mousing but have no control over the movement whatsoever. When solving cryptograms, I tend to type more with my left hand because I need the right hand for the mouse. Here's an observation of mine that you all may find interesting: my left hand moves much quicker when typing than my right; however, when I played piano, I always found the left-hand movements more problematic. Anyone have any ideas about this?

04-22-2013, 02:49 AM
I don't know about that, except the left hand usually has the more complex piano part. I'm also a lefty who uses the mouse with the right. It sounds like a lot of people use the mouse with their "other" hand.

My lefty gripe is crossword puzzles. All the clues run down the left-hand side of the puzzle, so you have to lift your hand to read them. Just once, I'd like to see a Sunday crossword dedicated to left-handers, with all the clues down the right!

04-22-2013, 08:40 AM
Damsel, if you play the piano long enough, you learn to use your hands independently. I'm definitely right-handed, but I type MUCH faster with my LEFT hand. Most of that has to do with piano training....learning to stretch fingers and have "muscle-memory" of where a note, or a letter, is in relation to the whole. SO my personal theory is that "handedness" has as much to do with training as it does with inheritance. People who have strokes or lose a limb, can and DO learn to write with the opposing hand if necessary.
My father & my husband are/were both "lefties" who were forced to use their right hands by the school system. This made both of them able to do almost everything with EITHER hand. Interesting thread, for sure.

I had never thought about the difficulty of x-words for lefties, but I agree that the issue should be addressed. One of you "south-paws" should start a petition for it. I promise to sign:)

04-22-2013, 10:32 PM
This thread sure got interesting.
I was more curious about whether there are an above average amount of lefties on this site.
I think that Bansai mentioned in a comment that he is a lefty and that got me to wondering.
I use the mouse with my right hand and fill in the letters with my left because, well, the mouse is on the right and the keyboard is on the left.
As far as being trained to use the other hand, my mother-in-law grew up in the days when it was considered wrong to write with your left. She was forced to write with her left and continues to do so, but she does everything else with her right.
I write with my left, but twist my hand around so that my pen is angled the same way as a righty. I've never seen anyone else hold their pen that way and my hand gets really smeared and messy. When I write in Hebrew, which goes left to right, my hand still gets all smeared because of the way I hold the pen - it drags in the line above!

Anyway, anyone have an opinion on whether lefties tend to be more unique thinkers, or more "individual" than righties?

04-23-2013, 01:29 AM
As a run of the mill right hander, I tend to think we are all unique and
as "indvidual" as our personalities make us.

04-23-2013, 05:13 AM
I heard a theory which predicts that the human race will evolve into more empathetic souls partly as a result of the fact that we are writing and expressing our thoughts and feelings with two hands (in keyboarding) because two-handed expressiveness engages both brain hemispheres (rationality and emotionality) rather than using one hand, as in penmanship, which tended to engage only the rational and more dominant brain/handedness.

(I realize that I shifted the topic a bit, since many of the people who commented in this thread are talking about doing cryptos with only one hand on the keyboard. I just wanted to mention an idea about the long-range implications of two-handed self-expression. I find the idea fascinating.)

04-23-2013, 09:52 AM
are lefties still being encouraged in schools (or in their homes, for that mattter) anywhere to change to righties? i hope not.
i had a friend (born in the early '20's) whose left hand was tied behind her back when she started school--no slip-ups that way, huh?! sad, but the sadder thing was, after then being a righty for years, in her early 20's she had a muscle removed from her upper right arm and then had to learn to become a lefty. she was quite miffed, to say the least!

04-23-2013, 11:04 PM
Switching people like that, at an early age, can lead to dyslexia and other learning disabilities. I tend to believe that's why the rate of dyslexia is higher in lefties. It wouldn't affect a young adult or older person as much if they had to switch due to injury or stroke. It would be very frustrating, though.

As far as I know, Western countries don't actively switch kids anymore. Don't know about the rest of the world.

04-28-2013, 12:40 AM
Lefty here too. I've never been encouraged or forced to be a right handed person, but growing up in the 60's there weren't as many left-handed options, ie: scissors and school desks that wrapped around to the right, so I've always been a lefty in a righty world.
I believe that seeing everything through the mirror as it were, has caused me to be a spatial dyslexic. When I look at you straight on, in my mind, my left is your left. I also have a very hard time following linear directions.
But although I don't post on the forum here, I see many of your names over and over and over and I've been coming here for years to do crytograms ;)

04-28-2013, 08:01 AM
Maddy, thanx for posting in this forum. Maybe soon you'll be a regular in the forums and in the chat room. I am a little younger than you, but I also had a hard time being a lefty in school. The lefty scissors were so dull and awful, I just hacked away with the regular scissors. To this day, although I now own some really great lefty scissors, I cut terribly - all jagged!

04-28-2013, 05:58 PM
Welcome Maddy. I also hope that you become a regular here and in the chat box. By the way, have you noticed that your avatar also seems to be a lefty? :D

04-29-2013, 02:17 AM
I'm a leftie (also a leftist, not that it matters).

Some things I've learned to do with either hand, though I still don't write well right handed - never worth the time to develop the skill at that, I suppose.

09-15-2013, 07:01 PM
Like Maddy, I'm a newbie and a leftie! I was born in the mid '60s so wasn't forced or even asked to switch. My sister and I are both lefties and my parents are both righties. I did however go to a very small school and was the only leftie in my class. When it came to learning cursive, it was "just do what they're doing, but with your other hand". My handwriting is terrible.

I'm slightly ambidextrous, where my sister is a strict leftie. I type with both hands (I grew up playing piano), but mouse right-handed. I golf and swing a softball bat left-handed. In my mind's eye, though, I picture myself shooting a gun right-handed, even though every time I have shot a gun, I'm quite sure it was left-handed. It's been many many years.

I found some music score software that allows you to enter the notes using the keyboard, and it's great because A-G are all on the left hand, as are most of the software shortcuts. It saves tons of time that way.

Anyway, sorry for being long-winded!

09-21-2013, 09:25 PM
I'm a lefty too (and new).:cool:

09-21-2013, 09:43 PM
welcome to the group---be sure to also check out the chat box, for assorted information and silliness!