Thursday, 16 December 2010

Disclosure III

It is time for another dip into the nosegay that is Revd. D M Cloake's dirty little secrets. I know you have craved a revisit to this thread, and is not your every dream and hope realised  in this very moment. Time for The Vernacular Curate to 'fess up.

Well, there is no really easy way to disclose this. I am not sure that I know anyone else who holds this little secret close to their heart, so I don't know what kind of response this post will generate. I can sense my mother blanching even now!

The thing is, I have no sense of left and right. It was ever thus, and probably the reason why I failed four driving tests before the winner. It might explain time spent in thorn bushes when learning to fly. 

The thing is, that when directed to turn left or right, I can't. I have little mnemonics that help me, so that the decision is an intellectual process rather than instinctive as it is for the rest of you, but I just can't judge left from right in the way I can with up and down. In all honesty, I almost always take the wrong side first - I have no default right or default left. Silly, huh?!

Well, there you go - social pariah!


  1. Me too. I do household tasks (like ironing and cooking) left handed, having been brought up by a left handed mother, and I write mostly with the right hand but sometimes left. Car instructions for me have to be pointed out "this way" or "that way" - I know which way I mean but I sometimes say "left" when what I mean is "right", because *that* way seems to me to be "left" in that instance.

    I was told it's because I'm right-handed and left-eyed; that the result is a lack of sense of one being dominant and thus no instinctive sense of which is which; that 24% of the population are thus afflicted, and that it occurs more often in women than in men. I never checked the facts, but I was told this by a brainy doctor.

  2. Excellent - not just me. There is, though, a happy issue from all of this: I can play squash on both sides and often switch halfway through a game to confuse and therefore win! Hurrah!

    Thanks for stopping by, Maggi - have a wonderful Christmas!

  3. I, too, am right handed/left eyed. It does make things confusing. I much prefer "this way" and "that way" to right or left and am horrible when giving out driving directions because I say turn left when it's really right turn.

  4. This is very common indeed. I am not aware of any studies on the matter, but I'ved talked way before with psych colleagues on this, and not being able to match verbal left/right quickly with instructions is much more common than you would think. I suffer from this myself, and it takes me a minute to match a verbal left/right with actual direction.

  5. Me too! I write right handed but eat left handed and I can't be trusted to set a table because I don't know the difference if I think about it! I can't follow instructions to turn left or right when driving unless I lift my "writing" hand off the wheel and try out a line of imaginary writing. My husband keeps threatening to buy me some kids mittens with L and R on them!

    I found it really hard learning to drive. "Please go left" my instructor would say. "That way?" I would query, gesturing vaguely. "That's right" he would reply, meaning "That's correct". By then I would be in a state of uncomprehending panic and would sail straight on!



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