Saturday, April 01, 2006

Facing to the Dexter

From dictionary.com:


DEXTER:
1. Of or located on the right side.
2. Heraldry. Situated on or being the side of a shield on the wearer's right and the observer's left.
3. Obsolete. Auspicious; favorable.

Also:
SINISTER:
1. Suggesting or threatening evil: a sinister smile.
2. Presaging trouble; ominous: sinister storm clouds.
3. Attended by or causing disaster or inauspicious circumstances.
4. On the left side; left.
5. Heraldry. Situated on or being the side of a shield on the wearer's left and the observer's right.

I muse upon this in part because I am visiting my in-laws tomorrow. My father-in-law, like my own father, was born left-handed. Sinister comes from the Italian sinistra meaning pretty much what is says above: both "from the left" and "evil."

This has a practical if somewhat archaic application to my father and father-in-law in that, though both are left-handed, both write right-handed. This comes about from the ancient belief that left-handed people were sinister; evil; wrong. And so, you made them learn to write with their right hand. You forced this training under the guise that it is a world of right-handers, and that using the right hand trained your brain correctly.

This last hare-brained notion isn't so far out of whack, in that beginning neuroscience teaches that the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and the converse if true for the left side brain/right side body.

Side note: The notion that "left handed people are in their right minds" has some actual truth to it.


Now, I have always regarded the treatment of my father and father-in-law in terms of handedness to be little better than barbaric. And I still hold to that.

But after wandering around a bit today in the lower nether-regions of the political left. . .places such as here , here,here, here, here and here I begin to wonder if the Italians weren't correct in the first place.

It is getting harder and harder to escape the notion that the Loon Left is in fact truth in advertising. It is sinister.

"Suggesting or threatening evil."
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