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Left-handed number switching

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Catelyn
542351.  Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:19 pm Reply with quote

At some point I was told that it is very common for left-handed people to switch numbers - ie using 37 instead of 73. There is a very easy way to spot whether this has been done but it's still an annoying thing to do (particularly as I'm a bookkeeper!).

Is it true that it is a mistake that is common to left-handed people or is it just a myth?

 
Davini994
542523.  Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:35 pm Reply with quote

There's some very silly opinions about lefthandedness out there, I'd imagine that this is just another.

There's only one way I can imagine it being the case, which is that back in the bad old days a lot of lefties were encouraged to write right to left in mirror writing, then turn it round once they'd mastered it. The idea being that writing left to right is somehow natural, and lefthanders would do better to write the other way.

It's thoughtless nonsense of course, as demonstrated by languages that write the other way. All it does is confuse the life out of the poor students.

 
Efros
542526.  Sat Apr 25, 2009 7:46 pm Reply with quote

Number transposition is a major source of experimental error in data collection where numbers are manually written down. So I don't think this is a function of handedness, I have seen nothing on transposition errors and handedness, and until you mentioned it here I had never even made any connection.

 
Jenny
542812.  Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:17 pm Reply with quote

Number switching, like letter switching, is very common in people who are dyslexic, not just left-handers.

 
Mort
550992.  Sat May 09, 2009 2:07 pm Reply with quote

Are dyslexics more likely to be left-handed (or vice versa)?

 
Davini994
551063.  Sat May 09, 2009 3:48 pm Reply with quote

On Dyscalcula / Dyscalculia:

Wiki wrote:
Potential symptoms
...
An inability to read a sequence of numbers, or transposing them when repeated, such as turning 56 into 65.
...


(Edit for typo).


Last edited by Davini994 on Sun May 10, 2009 11:37 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Mort
551339.  Sun May 10, 2009 10:16 am Reply with quote

Focus magazine claims that right-handed people live longer than left-handed people. It's in the little Q&A snippet preview for next month, so we'll have to wait until the next magazine for an answer to why this is so.

 
Ion Zone
551553.  Sun May 10, 2009 3:03 pm Reply with quote

I think I must do somthing like that without realising, I make a huge number of silly mistakes in maths.

 
Southpaw
551868.  Mon May 11, 2009 5:17 am Reply with quote

Never swapped a number in me life AFAICR, and never heard of it before either in relation to lefties. Therefore I declare it utter bollocks of the first order.

 
samivel
551931.  Mon May 11, 2009 7:36 am Reply with quote

Good to see some scientific rigour entering the debate.

;)

FWIW, I'm left-handed too, and I don't transpose numbers or letters when writing, so I agree it's bollocks. Maybe of the second order. In the play-offs.

 
Ion Zone
551954.  Mon May 11, 2009 8:28 am Reply with quote

I'm not left handed, but dyslexic.

 
Hans Mof
551960.  Mon May 11, 2009 8:37 am Reply with quote

I have witnessed some cases of insistent number-switching with schoolmates. However, these where unrelated to dexterity but rather resulted from a quirky way of writing numbers they all shared.

Being German one is confronted with "linguistically stirred" numbers. 36 ends up as sechsunddreißig (six and thirty). Some people tend to write such a number right to left, i.e. first the six and then the 3 on its left. When presented with English they seem to forget to adjust, still writing their two-digit numbers from right to left in the order the digits present themselves in spoken language, turning thirty six into 63.

However, this is a cross-language problem unrelated to handedness.

 
Southpaw
552659.  Tue May 12, 2009 9:26 am Reply with quote

Yet another problem that would be solved if everyone just agreed to speak English. Honestly, you foreign types are just making life hard for yourselves!

;)

 
Mort
552769.  Tue May 12, 2009 10:36 am Reply with quote

Hans Mof wrote:
I have witnessed some cases of insistent number-switching with schoolmates. However, these where unrelated to dexterity but rather resulted from a quirky way of writing numbers they all shared.

Being German one is confronted with "linguistically stirred" numbers. 36 ends up as sechsunddreißig (six and thirty). Some people tend to write such a number right to left, i.e. first the six and then the 3 on its left. When presented with English they seem to forget to adjust, still writing their two-digit numbers from right to left in the order the digits present themselves in spoken language, turning thirty six into 63.

However, this is a cross-language problem unrelated to handedness.


Wow, that practise must make writing down phone numbers a jumbly confusing process.

 
Hans Mof
553175.  Wed May 13, 2009 5:27 am Reply with quote

Southpaw wrote:
Yet another problem that would be solved if everyone just agreed to speak English. Honestly, you foreign types are just making life hard for yourselves!

;)


Well, at least we are consistent in our two-digit twist. In English it's done for the number thirteen to nineteen only to be changed to be changed as of twenty-one.

 

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