Left-handers celebrate day of...being left handed

Fellow lefties include former taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen

Today is International Left-handed Day.


It’s perhaps no more than a gimmicky celebration, but today, August 13th, is devoted to International Left Handers Day – when lefties everywhere get a special date to themselves to moan about how everything in the world is designed for right-handed people.

They will also use it to proclaim their (reputed) over-representation in artistic and creative careers and will bore their friends by reeling off lists of celebrity left-handers.

For the record, well-known Irish left-handers include former taoisigh Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen.

US president Barack Obama, and former presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush snr, Gerald Ford and Abraham Lincoln were also lefties in the handwriting sense.

Renaissance artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci famously kept notebooks written in ‘mirror writing’, from right to left on the page.

Legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin and the late F1 champion Ayrton Senna were also left-handed.

Up to 15 per cent of people are left-handed – with males more likely to be left-handers than females.

A study by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast published in 2009, even suggested male cats were more likely to be ‘left-pawed’, while females were more likely to favour their right paw to ferret tuna from a tin.

The Left-Handers Club launched the event on August 13th 1992, making today the 22nd such celebration of sinistrality.

Among the claims the organisation makes for left-handers are that they are better drivers (six out of 10 left handers in an AA study passed their tests first time, making them 10 per cent more likely than right-handers to pass at first attempt).

Products made especially to ease the daily lives of those of sinister persuasion include scissors, tin-openers, corkscrews and left-handed notepads with the spine on the right.

A quick straw-poll in the Irish Times newsroom early this morning indicated about 70 per ccnt people present were left-handed.