I have used a QWERTY keyboard for so long that I find myself thrown by the French AZERTY whenever I get put on a computer in France.
So I have hesitated at the benefits of a left-handed keyboard. If I make the switch, would I find myself slowed down to the extent that any benefits are off-set by the inconvenience and lengthy period of adjustment?
I am still not sure. Here is the most common offering for lefties when it comes to keyboards...the DVORAK keyboard, which was in fact designed for one-handed keyboard use. There is a right and left version of this. The layout for the left version looks like this...
Just looking at this scares me. Maybe this is one of those times where I have to accept that it might be a little late to switch...
When I headed to the big school, I remember looking forward to music lessons. One of my older brothers is a talented guitar player, and is also a leftie.
For the first music lesson, he gave me his very first guitar. I was really happy.
As the lesson started, I tried desperately to create the chords that the teacher had drawn on the board. Everyone else in the class made sort of the same sound. Me? nowhere near. This went on for a short while until the teacher asked me why I had the guitar the wrong way round. Once I pointed out that I was left-handed, she promptly informed me that I either get the guitar re-strung right-handed and learn to play that way, or not learn at all.
Now this is nothing compared to some stories I know, but hey...I could have been a guitar god!
Fiskars was founded in 1649 in Finland by a Dutch merchant called Peter Thorwöste. It produced nails, wire, wheels, soon becoming a significant steel and ironworks company. Part of the business included the manufacturing of household utensils such as forks and scissors.
The first pair of Fiskar scissors appeared over 130 years ago. I have a pair of their left-handed ones, which I must say are fantastic.
These are truly one of the best products I have that are left-handed. The grip is so comfortable, forever banishing that soreness you get at the bottom of the thumb and forefinger after using right-handed scissors too long.
But for me the big story is that you get a clear view of the blade and the paper coming into contact. Fiskar reversed the mechanism, so the cutting line is completely different to a right handed pair.
The first time I used them, it was a revelation. Whilst the grip was an immediate winner, I did have to get used to the new cutting line. Once that was achieved, the results were amazing.
Now don't get me wrong. I am not someone who spends his life cutting up stuff. (FIrst guns, now blades...you will be getting the wrong idea about me!).
It is just that when I need to use a pair of scissors, I now find it that much easier...and less uncomfortable...
So for that reason, I enter Fiskars into the Hall of Left-Handed Fame.
"The vast majority of firearms are designed for right-handed shooters, with the operating handle, magazine release, and/or safety mechanisms set up for manipulation by the right hand, and fired cartridge cases ejected to the right. Also, scopes and sights may be mounted in such a way as to require the shooter to place the rifle against his or her right shoulder".
There are left-handed guns on the market. Whilst I am not the slightest bit interested in buying a gun, it is another example (albeit a somewhat bizarre example to choose I admit) of how a portion of the population either would have to buy a product that doesn't quite work for them or pay a premium for something that does.
Maybe though left-handed people are just less likely to pick up a gun...that would be a nice stat to find...
First, this is not some manifesto for global change in the right-handed world we live in. This is not about demanding 'rights' (or should that be 'lefts') for us left-handers. I am not suggesting the beginning of a political movement, which would be a little tricky anyway, given the long term use of the words left and right in politics would lead us to a rather confusing state of affairs. (Behold the rise of the republican and conservative left!)
This is though a place where I share my experiences of where little things have made the left-hander's life just that little bit easier. There are a lot of things that I have come across that, once tried, have been a revelation.
I might also share my irritation about how companies fail to consider the value of marketing to what is estimated to be at least 8% of people worldwide.
I also might go on about both historical and present-day institutional bias against left-handers. On the other hand, I might not.
Most importantly, it is about hearing from fellow left-handed citizens