Left Handedness Essay

2146 words - 9 pages

Left-HandednessPeople have always had some taboos since the beginning of history, and if somebodythinks in a diferrent way from the others or does something different, he is considered to bedifferent from the majority and he will be criticized in a good or bad way. Sometimes, he caneven be punished because of his difference. Left-handers are considered to be different in theworld of right-handed people and they have always been looked down on by the right-handedpeople. The aim of this paper is to give brief information about left-handedness and thedifficulties of being a left-handed person in a right-handed world.The word ''left'' has a bad reputation in all languages. Even in commonly respecteddictionaries, the meaning of the word ''left-handed'' is rather insulting, and left-handednesshas been considered to be a vice all over the world.In The New International Webster's Comprehensive Dictionary of the EnglishLanguage, the Meanings of the adjective ''left-handed'' are given as :a : having the left hand or arm stronger or more dexterous than the right; b :done with the left hand; turning or moving from the right to left or oppositelyto the motion of the hand of a clock; c : adapted for use by the left hand, as atool; d : clumsy; awkward; e : without sincerity, indirect; f : morganatic; fromthe giving to the bride of the left hand instead of the right by the bridgegroomin a morganatic marriage. (727)In Roger's Super Thesaurus the synonyms for ''left-handed'' are given as :''insincere, dubious, backhanded, ambiguous, questionable, ironic, veiled, sardonic,mocking'' (McCutcheon 296).The translations of the word ''left'' and ''left-handed'' from other languages havenegative meanings. Stanley Coren, in his book Left Hander : Everything You Need to KnowAbout Left-Handedness, mentions that the word ''left'' is of Anglo-Saxon origin and it comesfrom ''lyft'' which means ''weak,'' ''broken'' (1). In his book, he also gives the translationsof the word left and their meanings in a few languages. In French, the equivalent word for leftis ''gauche'' and it means ''clumsy,'' ''ugly,'' ''crooked,'' ''uncouth,'' ''bashful.'' The wordleft is ''mancino'' in Italian and it means ''deceitful,'' ''dishonest.'' In Spanish, it is ''zurdo''and ''no ser zurdo'' is an idiom which means ''to be very clever.'' If it is translated literally,it will be ''not to be left handed.'' In Latin, the word for left is ''sinister'' and it has a relationwith ''sinistrum'' which means ''evil'' (Coren 6).We can infer from this information that both the words ''left'' and ''left-handed''have meanings which denigrate the left-handed in most of the languages.Left-handedness has evolved throughout years and years, and during this long periodof evolution, left handers have always been exposed to some bad behaviours of the otherpeople.According to archaeologists the people who lived in the period BC did not have anypreference to use one hand. The flint tools which belong to the Neolithic period...

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