A Rightist Conspiracy

It can be difficult being left-handed, even when you’re allowed to be. Even those things which you’d think were ambidextrous aren’t. (Why is it ‘ambi-dextrous’? Surely that’s a contradiction in terms? What about ‘ambisinistrous’?)

Tube ticket slots obviously have to be one-sided, and the traditional convention that clockwise does things up and anti-clockwise undoes them is fine (although it makes a challenge to get into a bottle of wine with some corkscrews).

But breadknives? WHY are breadknives right-handed? Are they?, I hear you ask. Yes. If you look at the blade of your breadknife, you’ll see that it’s different on either side. One side is flat and the other is bevelled. The flat side goes against the loaf and the bevel allows a particular cut which encourages the slice to fall of it. If you’re left-handed, it’s the wrong way round. So however much you try, it’s really difficult not to go skewy because you’re working against the blade.

There’s no reason that breadknives can’t be ambidextrous. A neat bevel on both sides would do it.

If they are only bevelled on one side, breadknives should be labelled right- or left-handed, so that poor, unsuspecting lefties don’t come away with the wrong tool.

I intend to make a fuss in John Lewis…

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