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Right-hander, Left-hander or both? Options
xiaolin
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:02:56 AM

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For a surgeon who are familiar to use his right hand or left hand to do his surgery, should I call him " Right-hander" or "Left-hander"? If yes, how about someone who can do it well with either right or left hand?
Is it a term like " both-hander"?
I'm working in a health care setting. If all these are not formal description, any jargon they are using in the industry.

Thanks in advance.
boneyfriend
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:48:55 AM

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The word is ambidextrous, meaning can use both hands well
Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 9:12:49 AM

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I think for the case of being a predominately one handed surgeon, you would say he or she was a left handed, or right handed, surgeon. Although it could be said your way, and not be technically wrong I think, it would sound odd to a native speaker.
pedro
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 11:06:32 AM

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Epiphileon wrote:
I think for the case of being a predominately one handed surgeon, you would say he or she was a left handed, or right handed, surgeon. Although it could be said your way, and not be technically wrong I think, it would sound odd to a native speaker.



It might be an idea to check first before a kidney transplant.
TL Hobs
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 2:52:36 PM

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It takes both hands to be ambidextrous!

Eh?
early_apex
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 5:32:33 PM

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I knew a woman once who had surgery to reduce her breast size. The surgeon said he had a colleague, who was as good as he was, but was left-handed. His colleague would work on one side while he worked on the other, in order to minimize the time spent.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 6:54:20 PM

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I am a molempikätinen pétanque player.
Ambidextrous is the right term.
RuthP
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:07:27 PM

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early_apex wrote:
I knew a woman once who had surgery to reduce her breast size. The surgeon said he had a colleague, who was as good as he was, but was left-handed. His colleague would work on one side while he worked on the other, in order to minimize the time spent.

(Wow. That was surely before the days of DRGs and capitation!)

Most surgeons drift toward ambidextrous, probably for just the reasons EA suggests here. It's unlikely a surgeon will have an opposite-handed twin, and under the current reimbursement schema, not likely there will be two surgeons where one will do.

I suspect if one doesn't have fairly good use of both hands to begin with, surgery is not likely to be appealing. It will just be too hard/tricky and not fun or satisfying. Anyone motivate enough to make surgery a career will, over time, gain increased facility with the non-dominant hand just from practice.

To the original question: As Epi said, we usually say "she is left-handed". You do hear "she is a left-hander", but it is considerably less common (and it is driving my spell-checker nuts). Equal or near-equal ability is "she is ambidextrous", with a tip of my hat to boneyfriend.
early_apex
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 2:39:03 PM

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RuthP wrote:
early_apex wrote:
I knew a woman once who had surgery to reduce her breast size. The surgeon said he had a colleague, who was as good as he was, but was left-handed. His colleague would work on one side while he worked on the other, in order to minimize the time spent.

(Wow. That was surely before the days of DRGs and capitation!)

Most surgeons drift toward ambidextrous, probably for just the reasons EA suggests here. It's unlikely a surgeon will have an opposite-handed twin, and under the current reimbursement schema, not likely there will be two surgeons where one will do.

I suspect if one doesn't have fairly good use of both hands to begin with, surgery is not likely to be appealing. It will just be too hard/tricky and not fun or satisfying. Anyone motivate enough to make surgery a career will, over time, gain increased facility with the non-dominant hand just from practice.

To the original question: As Epi said, we usually say "she is left-handed". You do hear "she is a left-hander", but it is considerably less common (and it is driving my spell-checker nuts). Equal or near-equal ability is "she is ambidextrous", with a tip of my hat to boneyfriend.


Not sure how the insurance worked out on that. I do remember that substantial blood loss was expected, and it seems there was an advantage to reducing the overall procedure time.

Ambidextrous is very descriptive, succinct yet polysyllabic. As a left-handed person, I do not like the definition of "both right hands", just as I object to the terms "gauche" and "sinister".
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 3:39:01 PM

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early apex wrote:
Quote:
I do not like the definition of "both right hands", just as I object to the terms "gauche" and "sinister".


It is better than the old Lancashire dialect word for 'left handed' - cack-handed
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 4:13:04 PM

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early_apex wrote:
RuthP wrote:
early_apex wrote:
I knew a woman once who had surgery to reduce her breast size. The surgeon said he had a colleague, who was as good as he was, but was left-handed. His colleague would work on one side while he worked on the other, in order to minimize the time spent.

(Wow. That was surely before the days of DRGs and capitation!)

Most surgeons drift toward ambidextrous, probably for just the reasons EA suggests here. It's unlikely a surgeon will have an opposite-handed twin, and under the current reimbursement schema, not likely there will be two surgeons where one will do.

I suspect if one doesn't have fairly good use of both hands to begin with, surgery is not likely to be appealing. It will just be too hard/tricky and not fun or satisfying. Anyone motivate enough to make surgery a career will, over time, gain increased facility with the non-dominant hand just from practice.

To the original question: As Epi said, we usually say "she is left-handed". You do hear "she is a left-hander", but it is considerably less common (and it is driving my spell-checker nuts). Equal or near-equal ability is "she is ambidextrous", with a tip of my hat to boneyfriend.


Not sure how the insurance worked out on that. I do remember that substantial blood loss was expected, and it seems there was an advantage to reducing the overall procedure time.

Ambidextrous is very descriptive, succinct yet polysyllabic. As a left-handed person, I do not like the definition of "both right hands", just as I object to the terms "gauche" and "sinister".

Yah, well, everyone knows that means you are very sinister, whereas I am very dextrous.Liar (Sorry, I couldn't resist. It's what I always tell my left-handed sisbling.)
RuthP
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 4:18:18 PM

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Drag0nspeaker wrote:
early apex wrote:
Quote:
I do not like the definition of "both right hands", just as I object to the terms "gauche" and "sinister".


It is better than the old Lancashire dialect word for 'left handed' - cack-handed

This is actually rooted in practicality. Many cultures have hand-taboos, which ultimately reflect cleanliness issues. Right hand for eating, left hand for . . . other things is common.

A very, very long time ago, I had a very left-handed friend who did some research amongst nomads in Tibet. After reaching into the communal food dish with his left hand (and not speaking the language) he had to use, shall we say, a rather graphic pantomime to explain that he knew which hand he was using for eating and which for those other things.
Briton
Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 6:30:22 PM

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DragO, my Yorkshire relatives have always said, "cack-handed", even to me (although I am ambidextrous, actually). I never minded as it was always said in a teasing manner.

I also remember from my childhood being told that "the left hand's for the devil", which rather fits in with "sinister".
Ray41
Posted: Friday, January 25, 2013 1:02:43 AM

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Ambidextrous, as a word, is in common use in Oz, as is cack handed. Probably introduced by the large influx of UK immigrants post war.
Sports people are usually referred to as a 'left hander', particularly in tennis, cricket, etc.
If you are a left handed boxer then you are a 'southpaw'.
If a person is left handed here, they are often referred to as 'lefty'.

I am fortunate in being ambidextrous but, that may be due mainly to the fact that it was of necessity rather than being born with this very useful trait.
Interestingly, eye dominance is not a determining factor as to which 'hand' you favour.
I am right eye dominant which means that I shoot right handed (though I can shoot left handed but only by patching my right eye).
My youngest son writes left handed, the reason being his mother is a lefty and, he would copy her in the use of his left hand for some things. In primary school, the teacher 'decided' that he was a lefty and made him write with that hand.d'oh!
The only thing he does now with his left hand is write as he is right eye dominant and, so, shoots right handed. Shame on you Please, clean thoughts only needed here.Eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocular_dominance

My spell check doesn't recognize 'cack' or 'hander' but in accepts 'lefty'?

Origin & History of “cack-handed”

Cack comes from a 15th-century dialect verb meaning ‘defecate’, which probably came from middle Dutch cacken. It goes back via Latin cacāre to an ultimate Indo-European base *kak-, from which a lot of other Indo-European languages get words connected with ‘excrement’. The connection with cack-handed is usually explained as being that clumsy people make a mess; on this view ‘left-handed’, which cack-handed also means, is a secondary sense derived from ‘clumsy’. It may be nearer the mark to place ‘left-handed’ first, however, bearing in mind the traditional role of the left hand in many cultures for wiping the anus.
early_apex
Posted: Monday, January 28, 2013 3:40:11 PM

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Location: Spindletop, Texas, United States
Ray41 wrote:
Ambidextrous, as a word, is in common use in Oz, as is cack handed. Probably introduced by the large influx of UK immigrants post war.
Sports people are usually referred to as a 'left hander', particularly in tennis, cricket, etc.
If you are a left handed boxer then you are a 'southpaw'.
If a person is left handed here, they are often referred to as 'lefty'.

I am fortunate in being ambidextrous but, that may be due mainly to the fact that it was of necessity rather than being born with this very useful trait.
Interestingly, eye dominance is not a determining factor as to which 'hand' you favour.
I am right eye dominant which means that I shoot right handed (though I can shoot left handed but only by patching my right eye).
My youngest son writes left handed, the reason being his mother is a lefty and, he would copy her in the use of his left hand for some things. In primary school, the teacher 'decided' that he was a lefty and made him write with that hand.d'oh!
The only thing he does now with his left hand is write as he is right eye dominant and, so, shoots right handed. Shame on you Please, clean thoughts only needed here.Eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocular_dominance

My spell check doesn't recognize 'cack' or 'hander' but in accepts 'lefty'?

Origin & History of “cack-handed”

Cack comes from a 15th-century dialect verb meaning ‘defecate’, which probably came from middle Dutch cacken. It goes back via Latin cacāre to an ultimate Indo-European base *kak-, from which a lot of other Indo-European languages get words connected with ‘excrement’. The connection with cack-handed is usually explained as being that clumsy people make a mess; on this view ‘left-handed’, which cack-handed also means, is a secondary sense derived from ‘clumsy’. It may be nearer the mark to place ‘left-handed’ first, however, bearing in mind the traditional role of the left hand in many cultures for wiping the anus.


Crap! Now I'm shit-handed as well!

I too have adapted to this world as it is, and do everything right-handed except writing and drawing. I have learned to wield a hammer with equal imprecision with either hand, decorating a board with a flower pattern around each nail.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 1:58:51 PM

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A true anecdote:
I have a friend who has terrible handwriting, and always has had.

Someone asked her to try writing with her left hand (to see if she was really a left-hander who had been forced to write with her right hand as a child).

It went fine - she has beautiful handwriting with her left hand. The only trouble is, it goes from right to left, mirror-image.

That sounds very artistic apex!
It took me ages of practice to learn flower patterns in my copper-beating classes at school.

timbuys
Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 5:54:26 PM

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I use a fork or spoon left handed...throw a ball right, but a frisbe left. Equally well with a tool or hand gun, long gun, right only. Guess I haven't made up my mind if I'm a lefty or righty

I do know this though.....Left handed people are the only ones it their right mind Angel
JonahBen
Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 11:28:45 AM
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Xiaolin - they were discussing handedness, the preference for using one hand over the other, before they began telling anecdotes about left handedness and wiping bottoms. Forgive them.
early_apex
Posted: Thursday, February 7, 2013 2:14:37 PM

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Joined: 4/20/2009
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Location: Spindletop, Texas, United States
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
A true anecdote:
I have a friend who has terrible handwriting, and always has had.

Someone asked her to try writing with her left hand (to see if she was really a left-hander who had been forced to write with her right hand as a child).

It went fine - she has beautiful handwriting with her left hand. The only trouble is, it goes from right to left, mirror-image.

That sounds very artistic apex!
It took me ages of practice to learn flower patterns in my copper-beating classes at school.



Not that artistic, DS.

It is an interesting experiment to hold a pen in each hand and write simultaneously in both directions. If you start in the middle and work outwards, you will be writing mirror image with your left hand.

Leonardo probably taught himself to write mirror image in order to avoid dragging his hand across the wet ink.
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