Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Why are some people left-handed? Because they are evil, and in congress with the devil.

  • Not a very popular point of view these days, I'll admit. But one that was very prevalent

  • back in days of old when knights were bold.

  • And back then when anybody used their left hand dominantly was thought to be, at best,

  • a bit odd, and at worst, in league with Beelzebub. It's why the word sinister comes from the

  • Latin 'sinistra' meaning of the left.

  • And yet throughout human history around ten per cent of us have used our left hand dominantly

  • for most tasks, with slightly more men than women being left handed. And research has

  • even proved that some Neanderthals were left dominant.

  • For a while it was believed that left-handed people had their brains wired differently.

  • Some do. Most humans use the left hemispheres of their brain to speak and to understand

  • language: between 75 and 90 per cent of us, according to scholarly types.

  • Because using your dominant hand requires a similar amount of brain power, it was reckoned,

  • for a long time, that the other half of your brain must therefore be used for doing this,

  • so the majority of us are right handed.

  • But this doesn't quite stack up, around 30 per cent of left handers do indeed have reversed

  • brain lateralisation, or no dominant side at all, but the vast majority of them still

  • use the left hand brain for language, the same as normal people.

  • Another big factor is definitely your genes. As with height, body shape and being ginger,

  • lefthandedness can be transmitted from generation to generation. If both of your parents are

  • leftists, then there's a 26 per cent chance that you will be too. More than double the

  • normal odds.

  • It's also possible that your hand preference is established some time before you even arrive

  • in the world. Premature babies are more likely to be left handed, there's also some evidence

  • that ultra-sonic scans increases the chances of a baby being a left hander.

  • All of which is an elaborate way of saying nobody really knows. But being left dominant

  • does give you one or two interesting advantages and a couple of major drawbacks as well.

  • Let's start with the downsides: around 20 per cent of people who develop schizophrenia

  • are left-handed. They're also more prone apparently to dyslexia and ADHD, they also have a reputation

  • of being more angry than the rest of us. On the plus side though, they are less susceptible

  • to ulcers and arthritis.

  • There's also plenty of evidence that left-handed people are more creative. A disproportionate

  • number of great artists painted with their left hands.

  • Leftists are also better at getting elected it would seem at least judging by recent American

  • history because four of the last seven presidents have been lefties, Obama, Clinton, Bush senior

  • and Gerald Ford.

  • And left-handers also do well in sport and, if we go back far enough, fighting. This is

  • because a left hander has a distinct advantage over a right handed opponent who will probably

  • only have ever faced other right handed people, that makes them particularly vulnerable to

  • a sudden southpaw.

  • But as a minority left handers like nudists have long have to accept that the world is

  • failing to adapt to them. Dozens and dozens of everyday items from corkscrews, to scissors

  • and even books, are designed for right-handed use.

  • On the plus side, left-handers have their own day to celebrate being a bit different,

  • there are also special left handed shops where you can buy left handed everyday tools and

  • even left handed pianos.

Why are some people left-handed? Because they are evil, and in congress with the devil.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 left handed handed cent dominant brain left hand

Why are some people left-handed? - James May's Q&A (Ep 39) - Head Squeeze

  • 301 16
    鄭宇晴 posted on 2014/04/02
Video vocabulary