Day twenty three of the ‘Blogging from A-Z Challenge’. Oh dear. I’ve tried to write with my left hand. I have ended up with the hand-writing of a four year old and the vocabulary of a fifty four year old. It is as if I am back in infants’ school, sitting at a too small desk and dwarfing the other kids.
For the context of this blog I am referring to writing with a pen on paper.
As it happens I’m not a good writer, even with my right hand. I blame my education. When I was at that formative age I moved schools. My father had a new job and we moved from somewhere north of the Tyne to somewhere south of it. My new school was pleasant enough but they were ahead in terms of learning to write by hand. I was still on forming individual letters yet they had moved onto joiny-up writing.
I remember asking the teacher what I should do and she, rather off-handed in my opinion now that I look back, said that I should just try and join the letters up. She has a lot to answer for. One off-hand comment has led to a writing style somewhere between illegible and general practitioner. The education system has failed me.
By the way, the word to write has nothing to do with the word right. The two words are from a different route completely.
As it happens I don’t write that much these days anyway. For over a year now I have done all of my ‘writing’ on either my laptop or smartphone. I’ve given up paper. Apart from the (very) occasional shopping list the only time I pick up a pen is to sign something, a birthday card or an authorisation usually. My right-handed writing has deteriorated noticeably as I get more and more out of practice.
Back to the left hand. Holding the pen is fine but the characters come out all jerky. The ink doesn’t flow across the page and I find I have to twist my hand round into an odd shape so that I don’t drag it across the words. The shapes I form are recognisable but are far from acceptable for a man of my advanced years. I find I can manage as long as I take it slowly. If I go to fast my mind forgets what it is doing and the letters appear back to front (s, 3 and 5 are particularly difficult). Joining the letters does nothing to enhance the look or readability. No matter how hard I try I cannot sign my name.
For a full time left-hander things are much worse. Ball point pens are designed to follow the writers hand. They rely upon the roller ball to be pulled across the page, leaving their ink behind, yet for the left-handed the pen is pushed which digs into the paper and blots the ink. To achieve a good result the left-handed writer would have to write backwards.
Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. Spiral notebooks and three ring binders also present a problem. The metalwork is on the left and so the user has to get their hand around the rings in order to write or work the book form back to front. Finally, next time you are in the bank and try to use that pen on a chain you will find that once again it is on the right hand side of the desk. Life is filled with left-handed problems.