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OT: Handedness (was Re: Complex script editor wish list)

From:BP Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Thursday, September 25, 2003, 16:25
At 13:14 24.9.2003 -0400, Isidora Zamora wrote:

>At 11:19 AM 9/23/03 +0200, you wrote: >>At 13:55 19.9.2003 -0400, Isidora Zamora wrote: >> >>>Are you left handed? (I am.) >> >>I'm actually ambidextrous. The long story is that >>I'm lame since shortly after birth. I máy have been >>originally lefthanded since my mother is, but all >>the physiotherapists concentrated on exercising my >>right hand! In spite or because of this I've ended >>up with a rather clumsy right hand on a strong right >>arm, and a more nimble left hand on a weak left arm. > >That's got to be rather awkward for you. I've noticed at times that my >(non-dominant) right hand or arm is actually slightly stronger than my >(dominant) left hand and arm. However, it is only the left hand that is >truly coordinated.
My right hand is coordinated but stiffer. I have trouble moving the fingers of my right hand individually -- a typical cerebral palsy thing.
>My right hand is much more coordinated than most >right-handed people's left hand is, but I am far from being ambidextrous.
That's normal for left handed people, I've come to understand.
>I truly believe that my daughter was born left-handed. When she first >started reaching for things, it was invariably with her left >hand. However, she started avidly sucking her left thumb
[snip rest of interesting story] That's another way to switch handedness! The hero of Swedish author Frans G. Bengtsson's novel "Röde Orm" became left-handed because of rowing a left- side oar as a galley-slave!
>>>The way that left-handed caligraphers using >>>Roman characters have typically gotten around the problem is to turn the >>>page on its side so that they write top to bottom and in columns (rows) >>>that go from right to left. When it's done and the page is turned upright, >>>the characters move in the same direction as a right-handed scribe's. >> >>I have done the right-handed equivalent of that when >>writing Devanagari. I first tried with a slant-cut nib, >>but found that it tended to tear the paper when I did >>pushed strokes. This was back in the days before my >>arms started to tremor... > >I can sympathize. Most of the medications that I am on have tremor as a >side-effect.
May I ask what you medicate for?
>It's not a real problem when it's only a very fine tremor >limited to the fingers, but sometimes the entire hand (or even forearm) >will have a coarser tremor.
Exactly the same with me, except it's never just the fingers.
>However, I don't have the best handwriting to begin with (though it has >improved radically since I have had to teach my daughter how to write),
I actually re-taught myself to write at about 18 years old, at the time I got interested in calligraphy and understood how literally lame my handwriting was. I got books on Italic handwriting and grinded ground myself through it[1]. Later my handwriting deteriorated again as I started to use a roller-ball instead of a fountain pen, which in turn was because I had taken to use shorthand, which demanded a fine-pointed writing tool. With shorthand I can write almost as fast as non-lame people write longhand...
> and >I do have a slight tremor at all times. I am not at all certain that I >will have much success in developing native scripts for my conlangs (should >I chose to do that) because of my general lack of precise cordination when >it comes to handwriting. I am more likely to come out with a sloppy mess >than a useable font.
You can always use Metafont, though that requires knowing some algebra and learning to use TeX. FWIW my problem is rather with deciding what I want the shapes to look like!
>>>I do know that the pens are cut at the opposite angle for a left-handed >>>scribe, and I don't know whether that has a subtle effect on the shape of >>>the letters or not. >> >>Slant-cut nibs are used to enable left-handed scribes to write >>left-to-right while the letter-shapes remain similar to those >>a right-handed scribe produces with a straight nib. In India >>the situation is reversed, the slant-cut nib being normally >>used by right-handed scribes. Come to think of it this must >>mean that there's a natural occupational niche for lefties there! :-) > >That's interesting to know, the bit about slant-cut vs. straight nibs and >the situation in India.
Actually I saw in a book that lefties and righties make the strokes in opposite direction when writing Devanagari. Vèry interesting!
>I know that I have left-handed calligraphy nibs >and that they are cut on a slant. I didn't realize that the right-handed >nibs had no slant.
Oh I see. IME writng with a straight nib on a turned paper is much easier than using a slanted nib. Perhaps you should try it.
>Isidora > >
/BP 8^) -- B.Philip Jonsson (delete X) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__ A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \ __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / / \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / / / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / / / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /Gaestan ~\_ // /__/ // /__/ / /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\ Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~ || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! || "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)


Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>