March 23rd, 2009


A philosophical conundrum

When I was in fifth grade, my teacher suggested to the class that now that we were learning decimal points, we should circle our problem numbers to avoid having them accidentally show up in the math. It’s a habit I gleefully adopted, and used through several classes of higher mathematics. Even to this day, if I’m making an ordered list, I circle my numbers.

So I was doing this at work today as setup for what I’m doing on the computer, and I noticed that every time I drew the circle around the number, I drew it counterclockwise. Writing ‘o’ and ‘0′ are done the same way. This got me pondering — is this what every righty does, and lefties go clockwise? Maybe something with the way the pen is gripped?

So I asked the question on twitter, and got three responses. All four (counting myself) were righties, and we split right down the middle as to how we drew our circles.

My pen grip hypothesis seems to be on shaky ground. So in the interests of science!, I’m looking for more data points. Do you draw your circles clockwise or counterclockwise? What hand are you?

Originally published at You can comment here or there.