The other night I couldn’t sleep and my brain for some reason stumbled on the notion of phrases you can touch-type using just your left hand. Then I really couldn’t sleep.
[Update: It’s getting pretty weird in the comments.]

They’re just phrases because a sentence has to end with “.” but that’s right-handed. Still, you can use some punctuation.

extra severe batcave fear!

rats rage at cat

art craze gets street cred

secrets were debated

few see tax at 55% as great

Then perhaps even a short poem:

sweet desert sweat
dew wets faces at eve
tears after sex


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: John (Oct 19 2009, at 00:59)

Except you shouldn't be able to use the punctuation above 1-6, because *technically* you should use your right hand little finger to press the shift key...

*grin* but you got *far* more than I would have!


From: Gavin Brelstaff (Oct 19 2009, at 04:18)

I am not sure but you might have just invented another kind of Lipogram:



the term lipogram was first applied by Salomon Certon in the early 17th century


From: Schmoo (Oct 19 2009, at 04:26)

Hi John,

If there exists a manual detailing exactly how it is that I'm allowed to type, please refer me to it. I'd hate to breaking some social taboo, or worse, an international law by using the left shift key with my left pinky.


From: Michael (Oct 19 2009, at 05:34)

I have a left-handed name: Strasser


From: David R (Oct 19 2009, at 06:31)

Thank you for brightening my morning. After my coffee I may try this myself.

This is why I love ongoing... we get sun and cloud computing, plus a smart take on palestine and notes about how to make toast and poems you can type with only your left hand. brilliant, thank you.


From: Tiest (Oct 19 2009, at 06:36)

My favorite left hand word - 'test'

so when I'm manual testing, I can type that into text fields while mousing with the right :)


From: sfb (Oct 19 2009, at 06:56)

Wasted street crew swear we were traced

Few saw `sad sax` Steve eat great webbed crab stew

`Q` tastes faded waxed crawdad


From: Marshall Vandegrift (Oct 19 2009, at 07:55)

Looks like you found a way QWERTY is concretely better than Dvorak! Well, the Dvorak two-handed layout anyway...


From: George Phillips (Oct 19 2009, at 08:29)

John, my thought exactly. Another entry for "you know you're old when..." I remember the opposite pinky rule from typing class. I think it was primarily because of manual typewriters where getting enough pressure on the shift key was important to make a good impression. Yet it was taught for the electric typewriters, too, based on some hand-waving about it being faster. Alas, I was broken of the habit early by an editor/assembler where only the left-shift key worked.

I don't recall if the manual typewriters had caps lock keys on both sides. At least it allows capital letters on modern keyboards. Hmmm, the manual typewriter had a shift lock that affected all keys so there's some precedent in allowing punctuation if only on the left.


From: Piers Hollott (Oct 19 2009, at 09:00)

Clearly a future Olympic sport! However, the Scrabble-head in me has to say, needs more "qat" - what else can you do with a "Q" if you have no "U"? Obviously "Qatar" requires some sort of shifting ;)


From: Rafe Colburn (Oct 19 2009, at 09:02)

I read somewhere that the longest word you can type with only your left hand is "stewardesses".


From: sjs (Oct 19 2009, at 14:02)

I wanted to type a left-handed comment but with dvorak that is near impossible. We suffer from too much punctuation under our left fingers.


From: dave federer (Oct 19 2009, at 20:54)

caveat! a few are degraded


rebates are cab fare as reward

cadavers are desecrated dead

wafted farts are egressed feces gas

farra fawcett! great breasted actresses deserve better


exaggerated as we are twas a grade A farce!

ta ta crazed carefree bastards!


From: dave federer (Oct 20 2009, at 04:01)

a tattered red dress

a decades war exacerbated

fears reverberate westward

few cared

few brave

a bereaved dwarf devastated

targets scattered savages

dagger vs sabers

swerve! stab! evade! sever! tagged!

wavers ever dazed

a terraced cave

a sad grave


From: DavidLG (Oct 20 2009, at 05:48)

Start a career as a TV actress! Be a star!

Decrease debt at a faster rate!

Be regarded as a great asset after a few beers!

XXX sex DVDs! Fast FREE Access!

RSS reader stats! Create a feed badge!

Great degrees awarded! Face bad test grades!

A sweet text based web server! Targets FreeBSD!

Date Secrets etext! A better car attracts babes at bars!

Starcraft easter eggs after a decade!

Get a free SD Card Reader after rebate at SEARS!

Be as great as QB Brett Favre! Exceed Drew Bees!

Fedex assesses fees at Texas street address

Beverage beta testers assert adverse effects are rare

Excess bread begets fatter ass


From: Aristotle Pagaltzis (Oct 20 2009, at 15:40)

I could swear that Sam Ruby had posted an entry like this, years ago, but damned if I can find it now. (Mark Pilgrim left a comment along the lines of “OK, I’ll ask: what are you doing with the other hand”.)


From: Anonymous poet (Nov 02 2009, at 16:44)

A poem for the right-handed, named "Quixote"

I hop on my pony,

Jumpin' & pumpin',

Hi' & lo',

Lo, mill on hill,

I kno':



From: mattbisme (Nov 03 2009, at 12:44)

All these comments, and how did nobody pick up on this one!

"Star Wars"



author · Dad
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