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International Left-Handers Day: Left-Handers, a Minority That Even Emojis Ignore

Emoji, the lingua franca for the digital age, that has evolved to be more inclusive ignored this significant left-handed minority.

Soumyadip Choudhury | News18.com@soumyadip

Updated:August 13, 2018, 1:20 PM IST
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International Left-Handers Day: Left-Handers, a Minority That Even Emojis Ignore
A left-handed person writing (Image: Soumyadip Choudhury)
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Many Windows versions ago, I discovered that the mouse settings could also be modified for left-handed users. Otherwise, the world in its rightful righteousness ignored the needs of us lefties.

I would have become a complete 'righty' and I owe it to my kindergarten teacher who vetoed the stupid idea, which a neighbourhood aunt had put in my mother's mind - to enclose my left hand in a sock, so that I'm discouraged from using it.

There are a lot of negative attitudes towards the left hand, especially in a culture like ours, where the prime importance of the left hand is cleaning up at the end of the digestive process.

Emulating others as a kid, especially in sports made me opt for right-handed play. And I never excelled in any, though I played quite a many. Bowling right-arm-over-the-wicket didn't fetch me as many scalps which my natural tendency for left-arm-around-the-wicket action would perhaps had.

Even emojis, the lingua franca for the digital age, that have evolved to be more inclusive ignored this significant minority (about 10 percent of world's population is estimated to be left-handed). Almost all emojis are right handed. The only notable exceptions include the thumbs up emoji . But then on Facebook, this exception of an emoji is right-handed. And the other is facepalm which depending on the platform had both left and right-handed variants, most of them being left.

The Left Writing Hand was approved as part of Unicode 7.0 in 2014, but this Unicode character has no emoji version that can be used across different platforms

Wherever I go, whatever I do, I find everything designed for people with a more dominant left brain. Even the damn potato-peeler is angled to suit a right-hander and also those scissors. I trained myself in using right-handed scissors, but simply can't peel potatoes with any other hand but my left.

The conflict between my inner left inclined self and the 'rightist' world outside turned me into an oxymoron of sorts. Not always is the right right for me. I write with my left but throw darts using the right. This is reminiscent of the phenomenon of dominant cultures gobbling up the little ones.

And the left-handed option on the mouse is now useless to me, I have become so attuned to the existing scheme of things that any modifications will only be accompanied by a loss in efficiency. Anyway, all mouse trays are to the right. But I do visualise myself, sometime in the near future, sending a left-handed high five on a WhatsApp message.

August 13 is International Left-Handers Day
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