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Tintin: Ambidextrous, right-handed or left-handed?

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#1 · Posted: 17 Feb 2004 17:56
I just want to make a couple of comments about this Tintinologist article: Ambidextrous Tintin
I have wondered about this in the past, and I certainly agree that Tintin should be left-handed given that Einstein, Edison, and most certainly da Vinci as well (remember, he always wrote mirror-wise). Certainly Calculus should be.
Anyway, how can they say what way someone does x is left-handed?
Like how do they know that putting on your coat on your left arm first is left-handed (or whatever)?
What I'm vaguely curious is the broom thing: which way, according to them, is left-handed: left hand at the bottom or right hand? I curl, and when sweeping on the ice I have my left hand right near the bottom and my (I'm right-handed, but it's a different technique anyway, though), and Thomas, the team captain who is left-handed, has his right hand near the bottom, but my other teammate who is also named Finlay (who is right-handed) puts his right hand near the bottom and his left right up at the top (if you can follow that ;) ). Of my other teammates, who are all right-handed, Tom puts his left hand at the bottom and the rest, as far as I know, put their right hand near the bottom. Ross says he can't do it the "left-handed" way, i.e. like me.

I may not be an entirely fair comparison: I most often eat and drink with my left hand where most would with their right, except often with forks, so I wonder sometimes if I'm at least slightly ambidextrous. Also, I often carry things with my left hand. Sometimes when I'm leaning on my right arm for whatever reason I feel a slight urge to just start writing left-handed to save the effort of changing arms, and I can just about write my name legibly left-handed.

And just out of interest, a friend of mine writes left-handed and does everything else right-handed, which is odd.

The other thing I'm vaguely interested in is the way people fold their arms. If they're right-handed it really should be their *left* arm on top, and vice-versa. It doesn't apply to *everybody*, but I'm pretty sure it should.

But I'm also pretty sure that Hergé didn't really care that much and would almost certainly be ignorant in the arm-folding respect, like most people. Maybe if he was also left-handed he would be more conscious of this.

Maybe none of you care.
Maybe there's not enough people on this forum to give a very good answer yet.
I dunno...
#2 · Posted: 17 Feb 2004 23:26
I don't know, but it would be great if Tintin was left-handed since I am. But I think he's probably right-handed.
Moderator Emeritus
#3 · Posted: 18 Feb 2004 08:03
The other thing I'm vaguely interested in is the way people fold their arms. If they're right-handed it really should be their *left* arm on top, and vice-versa. It doesn't apply to *everybody*, but I'm pretty sure it should.

Well, there's 8 people in my family, 7 of whom are right-handed. Some of us fold our arms with the left arm on top, some with the right on top, but it's certainly not to do with left or right handedness. :P

Dispelling Myths
#4 · Posted: 18 Feb 2004 09:32
You may be right, although I'm sure I read that somewhere.
All my family is right-handed, of five people, who all do it my way (inconsistently, mind).
And all the people on Friends do it my way too, except maybe Pheobe, who's left-handed anyway.
#5 · Posted: 18 Feb 2004 10:34
Welcome to our forums, Finlay.

I am also ambidextrous (though more lefthand dominant in many ways), and I fold my arms with my right arm on top.

Let me just say that the article about which hand Tintin uses is not to be taken seriously! Erik and I wrote it for fun - mainly to stir up the right-handed folks! ;-) But as you can see, our little plan actually backfired: instead of proving Tintin a lefthander, we found disturbingly numerous 'evidence' suggesting otherwise. Klas is still in denial; I am prepared to accept that Tintin may be ambidextrous.
#6 · Posted: 18 Feb 2004 23:39
After reading this article I went back to some cartoons I am working on at the moment and discovered my characters were switching hands from strip to strip. Which made me think - apart from carelessness, why was I putting an object in one hand rather than another at any one time?

Answer: clarity. If an important prop can't be seen clearly in one hand, and you can't adjust the position of the character that's doing the holding for reasons of plot/continuity/laziness, simply make the character use the other hand. And with Herge's drawing, clarity was all.

That's my excuse anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

#7 · Posted: 25 Oct 2005 13:49
I would determine that a person is right- or left-handed by which hand he uses to draw, because it requires the most control and precision.

Tintin uses his right hand to draw a sketch of Alcazar to the Hotel clerk in The Red Sea Sharks.
#8 · Posted: 28 Oct 2005 12:58 · Edited by: jock123
Quoting from here:
"Handedness" is a vague term, and can mean many things to many people. Most people in our society define handedness as the hand you use for writing. Within the scientific community, the vagueness of this term has led to much debate. Researchers define handedness based on different theoretical assumptions. For instance, some define handedness as (a) the hand that performs faster or more precisely on manual tests, while others define it as (b) the hand that one prefers to use, regardless of performance. Some think that there are two types of handedness: (a) either left or right, or (b) either right or non-right, while others think there should be three categories (to include ambidexterity). Some think there are two different kinds of ambidexterity. Some think that handedness should not be lumped into 2 or 3 or 5 categories, but rather measured along a scale of a continuum. These are just examples of a few of the differing criteria for handedness!

Just thought that might show that even the boffins have their work cut out to define what handedness is...

I personally am slightly ambidextrous, by which I mean that although I write right-handed, I can manage many tasks with my left, and often can do two things at once (I take the top off the milk carton and pour with my left-hand while making tea, pouring water, dunking tea-bag etc. with my right, for example), which sometimes confuses people watching.
I can also use a screw-driver in each hand at the same time to do or undo screws (although the process is limited to one way at a time - each has to be going the same way...!).

When I fold my arms, the left is on top...
Isabel a marche sur la lune
#9 · Posted: 25 Feb 2006 20:00
After reading that article, I do remember some instances where I was reading a Tintin book and noticed his use of his left hand, and I figured it'd be pretty cool if he were a lefty.
As we are discussing, he uses both, so I would agree that he is either ambidextrous or a lefty with forced righty habits (I have had schoolteachers who switch hands while writing on the board because they draw better with the left).
My brother says he's a lefty, but he's rather ambidextrous; writing with the left, using scissors with the right, etc.

(By the way, hello fellow Tintin fans!!)
Moab Dude
#10 · Posted: 25 Feb 2006 20:29
I would say that this is a very interesting observation that should be looked into, in the case of Calculus. I think it makes perfect sense that he would be left handed. But I would say he is very likely candidate for being ambidexious also.

As for Tintin I would have to say he is right handed becuase I have made the same observation that tantan has.

I wonder about the captan though. Which hand does he usely use to grab the bottle? And which eye is he dominant in? Becuase in The Crab with the Golden Claws he seems to be shooting right handed (and Tintin is for that matter). Also when he's running and swinging the gun he has it in his right hand.

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