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Purple Prose

Discussion in 'Comments on the latest newsletter' started by canadianbeth, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I have never seen any evidence either. My grandparents had eight children; I was informed that one uncle was left-handed but forced to change. None of my three siblings are, nor any of my children, but I do have a left-handed grandson, out of a total of ten. (sort-of funny story there, someone told my daughter that she should make him change; she told the woman that her mother would kill her) Apparently, back in the dark ages, the powers-that-be wanted my mother to make me change and she refused.
  2. Margery

    Margery LostCousins Member

    Biro was a brand name and it became the generic name for all ballpoint pens. A bit like the name Hoover referring to all vacuum cleaners (in England, that is).
  3. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    CanadianBeth, nowadays there are many variations of the Biro, it's just another word for ballpoint pen.
  4. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Are you sure you do not have hidden artistic or thespian talents Peter? My wife and I are both right handed, but she has a total fascination in spotting people who write with their left hands, especially when watching TV in the evening. I get a running comment... "there's another writing with their left hand". Such people are invariably actors (male or female) or Celebrity authors or Artists. Recently watching some old 'Poirot' and 'Death in Paradise' series I recall half a dozen such comments and asking why the fascination?

    Her bottom line assessment from such observations (and quite unscientific of course) is that a good proportion of actors are left handed as are authors and artists. In my opinion quite useless information but who am I to contradict my wife;)

    PS My mother, never one to be lacking in comment on any subject (guess who I took after) always referred to people who were left handed (and this included a favourite Aunt of hers) as 'cag -handed'. This was not said offensively, and indeed her favourite expression when referring to someone being clumsy-handed like my younger sister having problems mastering a knife and fork
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2022 at 10:45 AM
  5. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Superstar

    I know this as 'cack-handed', likewise from my mother. The Romans referred to left-handed people as 'sinister' from which we get the English word meaning malignant or of evil intent. The Romans' term for right-handed was 'dexter' from which we get the English word 'dexterity' because the right hand is the usual one to use.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  6. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I have no hidden artistic talents. I do cross-stitch but can only follow the chart and cannot understand diagrams at all. I can knit but had to have my sister show me how to do a purl stitch. And I never mastered crochet.

    The reason for we left-handers to be considered clumsy is because, until very recently, no special tools were there for us to use. We had to rely on the ones made for right-handers and they were not always very helpful. I still remember helping out in my son's kindergarten class and being shown scissors for the left-handed children and being astonished that there were such items. Having spent the first 30+ (at that time) years making right-handed ones work for me, I cannot make the left-handed ones cut along a straight line (and I have since purchased my own).
  7. Britjan

    Britjan LostCousins Star

    I've just been tweeting about propelling pencils which I always loved and which apparently at least six countries claimed to have invented! From there it was an easy stretch to reminisce about my childhood ambition in the 1950's to own a 72 coloured pencil set from Derwent. Graduating from using pencil to a fountain pen was a big deal at school and although our desks had ink wells I only remember using them for Indian Ink for art lessons. I think we were using biros exclusively by the time I changed schools at 15 and at some time I had a stubby ballpoint pen which rotated through 4 colours, and made a satisfying click!
    Earlier on one of my jobs as an only child was to rule up balance sheets in red ink for my father who ran a small accounting business in addition to his full time job. I remember using an inkwell and a special blotter , but it's not something I'd like to try these days! Otherwise ink was always blue or black. Sadly a lot of my wardrobe was navy blue so that it could be added to my school uniform.
  8. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Although otherwise left-handed I have always used scissors with my right-hand, probably because what youngsters do with scissors is cut out shapes from pieces of paper, and turning the paper at the appropriate time and in the correct direction is arguably the most important part of the operation. It was only relatively recently that I realised that normal scissors don't work for left-handers.
  9. MarionK

    MarionK Moderator Staff Member

    Took me years before I twigged to that:rolleyes:.

    My experience of being a 'mollydooker' is pretty much the same as others. I feel lucky, though, that I wasn't forced to use my right hand at school like some others I know. Only thing I did right-handed, growing up, was knitting. That was the only way my mum could teach me. Crochet I learnt from a book, reversing all the instructions. These days I also use my computer mouse with my right hand, due to a touch of RSI in my left arm a few years ago. No more RSI, but never switched the mouse back to my left hand.

    My local family history group has quite a number of left-handed members, more than I've ever come across anywhere else.
  10. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I had to learn to knit right-handed as well, because as I said earlier I cannot read diagrams and to reverse them was beyond my capability. My aunt tried to teach me as a teenager but I wanted to do it left-handed and could not. I was in my 40s before I tried again and this time was not too proud to do it right-handed. With help from friends, I managed to make a cable afghan but then put away the needles for long enough that I can no longer remember how to knit anything other than a straight stitch. So I make scarves for the children's hospital, with a group of ladies who do much more intricate items.

    And my mouse is on the left side of the keyboard. I just wish the numbers were as well but I am not about to spend the $$ on one that does. I learned to type on a regular typewriter that only had the numbers across the top and tend to use them just as often as the ones on the right-hand side.
  11. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    My keyboard has the numbers across the top and the keys also have all the symbols such as %, & etc. I thought they were all like that?
  12. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    My older son used both hands equally for drawing and writing as a young child, but at school his teacher said he should make a choice of right or left, as his writing was illegible with either hand. On weighing up the options, and with no prompting from us (both right-handed), he deliberately chose to be right-handed so he wouldn't smudge his work. It still took him quite a few years before he could write clearly, and I do wonder if he would have been better off choosing to be left-handed!
  13. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    Yes, but they also have the extra section of numbers off to the right, just numbers, not all the other symbols. There are keyboards with the numbers on the left but hard to find, and that this stage I am not looking to buy one. Half the time the number lock is not on and the keys do not work; usually after I have done a re-boot. I learned to type on a machine that had blank keys, with a chart at the front of the room; had to quickly learn where every letter was, as well as the numbers across the top.
  14. Margery

    Margery LostCousins Member

    When I learned the keys weren't blank but we had to hide them with a bib - that is a square of fabric with a tape in each corner. Two tied to the typewriter and two around your neck. I also remember typing to music, "Comin' Round the Mountain" springs to mind.
  15. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I have never used a mouse with my left-hand. It wasn't an option when I first started using computer mice - the cables weren't long enough to reach round the other side. I imagine that most people who do use their left hand switch the buttons round - again that wouldn't have been an option when I began.

    However, if I am forced to use a touchpad I do use my left hand.

    When I taught myself to play guitar in 1971 I used it right-handed - I didn't have any choice because it was my sister's guitar. However, as the most complicated thing for beginners is forming chords by holding the strings against the frets I felt it was an advantage. Paul McCartney, by contrast, had his guitar restrung - and look where it got him!
  16. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    I went to a Commercial College to learn bookkeeping, commercial practice, shorthand and typing With the latter it was important to learn starter positions: left little finger on the 'a' and right index finger on the 'j' . After initial hands on experience we then typed to an accompanying soundtrack with staccato music and a voice-over sounding out keys to be pressed; (eg) a-s-d-f-j-k-l . You then did the same with eyes closed until you could literally type "with eyes closed". It was not long before I could 'touch-type' and take an RSA Typing test proving speed and accuracy and get the result recorded on a Certificate. (I still touch type to this day but admit to making a lot more typos than in my hey day)
  17. Katie Bee

    Katie Bee LostCousins Member

    My sister did shorthand typing and tried to teach me that way, I did not get very far. I do more than 2 finger typing, but not much.

    I am right handed and the only thing I do left handed is cartwheels - only I haven't done one of those for a few years!

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