16 March 2006

Any left-handers out there?


As you can guess by my name, I'm a leftie.  I find writing Gregg shorthand to be particularly challenging. I need to turn my paper almost completely sideways (counter-clockwise) in order to get the right slant and flow, and even then my m's and n's aren't straight lines because I'm pushing the pen up the page instead of pulling it like righties do.  V's and F's give me trouble too.  Do any other lefties have any tips?  Words like "my" seem to give me particular trouble because of the long line and the loop-de-loop.  Same with "I have" -- the 'v' looks too flat.

(by leftiekim for everyone)

11 comments:

  1. not sure if this will work or if anyone has ever done this, but in one of my gregg books there's a picture of a lefthander taking shorthand, the way he does it and the picture shows is that he writes with this hand above the line, twisted sort of.  Can't remember exactly I don't have the book with me.  But anyway his hand and wrist are cruved like a C and his hand is above the line he's writing on. I don't know if that will work, I write with my right hand and it's a bit ackwards for me... lol... but you could try.  I'll see if later I can post the info on what it says below the pic.  Debbi

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  2. I think there is a form of gregg spicifically made to be written by a lefthander. Im not sure how good it is or whether any of the more experienced gregg writters here would recomend it but its worth a look at. everything is written from right to left, basiclly just a mirror image of normal gregg. It may just be an internet hack for all I know, but hey if it works... -Strawman-  

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  3. Hi Kim, I'm a reformed leftie.  When I wrote cursive with my left hand, it was at a slant, and I had to turn the paper sideways, just as you described.  Turning the paper sideways and hooking the wrist is the way a lefty can enjoy pulling rather then pushing the pen, so I find that it works great with Gregg.  Nothing wrong with a sideways paper as long as the writing turns out right, like a righty writes, right?   Also, the issue of left handed Gregg has was discussed back in the day, and it was written that writing Gregg left handed worked just as well (there's a discussion somewhere here in the group about it).   _________________________________ Praise the Lord, I saw the light line!

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  4. Yes, I'm (all too) familiar with it.  It's the classic lefty overhand hook.  Lefties develop this as a way to be able to see what they are writing without their hand getting in the way.  Unfortunately for us, it's also a pretty bad habit.  Until recently, no one paid much attention to how to teach left-handed kids how to write properly.  It was just assumed that you teach them the same way you teach righties.  So lefties like me were taught to slant our papers slightly to the left just like righties.  This leads to the above-the-line style that you described.  Modern research shows that lefties should be turning their papers to the right to get the under-the-line style that righties have, and to be able to pull their strokes instead of pushing them for a smoother, more fluent style.  But once you've learned to do it one way, it's almost impossible to relearn the other way because you have to turn all your pushes into pulls and vice versa.  I've tried it -- it's really weird.   I did make a small discovery today though.  I seem to make better shorthand if I make a conscious effort to keep my left elbow down against my side.  Again, most lefties have the "chicken wing" effect due to the above-the-line thing.  By keeping my elbow down, I seem to have more hand control and take the arm movement out of play.  I'm still experimenting with this, but it seems to be helping.

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  5. Yes, being a frustrated lefty, I also learned the turn-paper-to-the-right method.  I could form letters better, but for some reason had more difficulty judging spacing.  If you're really having a lot of trouble, maybe you'll consider trading sides.  Sure, other lefties will shun you, but at least you won't be the one struggling to put quaters into a righty-friendly soda machine.

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  6. Are you all lefties who do everything lefty. I'm  a lefty in handwriting, but am right- oriented in most everything else. In the 50's we lefties learned the Palmer method by slanting our paper to the right. I never did develop a hook upside down. As a teacher on the chalkboard I could use either hand. Though I cannot write cursive legibly rightwise, I taught myself Gregg using my right hand. It never felt awkward. If I do Gregg lefthanded, it looks fine but I tend to make lazy formations. My point is that not all lefties use poor hand posture, and the solution to the problems stated above might be contrary to expectations!   DOC

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  7. There are overwriters and underwriters in both left-handed and right-handed folk.

    I'm a left-handed underwriter, and just turn the paper clockwise a bit.

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  8. I learned to place the pencil against the last knuckle of my ring finger, so I could tilt my hand back a little, rather than against my middle finger. I couldn't figure out why I was supposed to use my middle finger to stabilize the pencil, since I couldn't see the words that way, and I would always switch back after the teacher walked away. Funny how it didn't dawn on me for quite some time that it was a lefty versus righty thing. It did keep me from developing that awful claw/hook way of writing. That always looked so uncomfortable.

    The ones who really impress me are the lefties who learned how to write upside down.

    I've wondered if writing with my left hand is what causes my down strokes to come out more vertical rather than slanted. B, p, f, and v are the worst for me and I have to consciously work at them. I also have trouble getting the end curve of k and g just right. But then, it could also be poor manual dexterity.

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  9. Think of commas when you write the f and the v. The b and the p are mirror images of the f and the v. A lot of the penmanship issues go away with practice.

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  10. I'm left handed. I'm relearning gregg,and decided to go with Anniversary. This time around I'm learning it both left to right and right to left. The right to left is MUCH easier to write, better penmanship, etc. In terms of current speed, I'm about equally fluent at both, but I expect that will change as I start to gain in ability. The excellent part about this is that if I alternate directions with each line, I won't spend time going to the next line. The reading/transcribing seems about as easy (difficult) going in either direction. I'm loving it.

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    Replies
    1. If you're writing right to left, are you reversing the characters too? It would seem to me that one would lose speed if one is constantly jumping words to move across a line when writing right to left.

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