Characteristics: Left in a Right-Handed World

An estimated 260 million people around the globe live left-handed lives in a right-handed world, Leonardo da Vinci and Alexander the Great were lefthanded, and so were Babe Ruth, Michelangelo and Charlemagne. The left hand rules Charlie Chaplin, Robert S. McNamara, Sandy Koufax, Kim Novak and Ringo Starr. They are known as southpaws, gallock-handers, chickie paws and scrammies—and on down a whole list of slangy synonyms whose very length testifies to the fact that for centuries left-handers have been looked upon with suspicion, if not with actual mistrust.

In the Middle Ages, for...

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