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Sinister Diary

First Posted: 2018 October 17

Draft 2

Today I began another form of record keeping: a “Sinister Diary.” Now, for those of you who don’t know,1 sinister is the nominative masculine singluar Latin word for left.2 So, what is a “left diary”? It’s just a diary that I’m writing with my left hand.

In my diary making class, we talked about different ways of sparking creative journal keeping. One of these is to make a diary entry with your non-dominant hand. Now, I have always wished I could write ambidextrously, so this was a good spark to me.

Of course, calling anything written in my left hand’s3 penmanship implies that that written in my right hand is “dextrous.” Dextrous is the British form of the American “dexterous,”4 coming from the Latin “dexter,” meaning right5 or skillful or proper.6

Now, far be it from me to describe anything written I do as skillful, but it’s certainly easier to read than my left-handed writing. Also, I ran into another problem while writing sinisterly.

When I was a young, impressionable freshman,7 I took Latin.8 I had the brilliant idea to write all of my Latin with my left hand, so as to embed it more deeply in my mind.9 Of course, the professor shut that idea down on the grounds of legibility.10 But, today, when I tried writing with my left hand for the first time in a while, I noticed that I was thinking of the Latin11 translations for a lot of what I was writing. This continued to the point where I began thinking, and even writing in in12 Latin. As bad as it was, it was certainly fun.

So, I think I’ll continue my sinister diary, if only to have that as a conversation starter.

Draft 1

Today I began another form of record keeping: the “Sinister Diary.”13 Now, for those of you who don’t know,14 sinister is the Latin15 word for left.16 So, what is a “left daily allowance”?17 It’s just a diary that I’m writing with my left hand.

In my diary making class,18 we talked about different ways of sparking creative journal keeping. One of these is to make a diary entry with your other hand.

Of course, calling anything written in my left hand’s19 penmanship implies that that written in my right hand is “dextrous.” Dextrous is apparently the British form of the American “dexterous.”20 Dexterous comes from the Latin “dexter,” meaning right21 and also skillful or proper.22

Now, far be it from me to describe anything written I do as skillful,23 but it’s certainly easier to read than my left-handed writing. Also, I ran into another problem while writing sinisterly.

When I was a young, impressionable freshman,24 I took Latin. I had the brilliant idea to write all of my Latin with my left hand, so as to embed it more deeply. Of course, the professor shut that idea down on the grounds of legibility.25 But, today, when I tried writing with my left hand for the first time in a while, I noticed that I was thinking of the Latin26 translations for a lot of what I was writing. This continued to the point where I began thinking in27 Latin. But, I did certainly enjoy it.

Hence, I’ll be continuing my sinister diary.


  1. most likely, if you’re right handed, haven’t taken Latin, and lack pedantic friends

  2. sinister,sinistra,sinistrum

  3. lack of

  4. apparently I’m becoming British more than I thought. Next thing you know I’ll be spelling it oxydized

  5. like the hand

  6. I shamelessly use wiktionary

  7. as opposed to the young, impressionable junior that I am now

  8. no this story doesn’t end poorly

  9. the inner workings of my mind are a mystery even to me

  10. or, more precisely, the lack thereof

  11. and also Spanish because my mind groups things oddly

  12. broken

  13. ooh, does the go in the quotation? If so it should be capitalized

  14. so, if you’re right handed, haven’t taken latin, and also not pedantic

  15. latin?

  16. sinister,sinistra,sinistrum

  17. also, note that diary comes from the word for daily allowance

  18. liberal arts are weird

  19. lack of

  20. apparently I’m becoming British more than I thought. Next thing you know I’ll be spelling it oxydized

  21. like the hand

  22. I shamelessly use wiktionary, like all real scholars

  23. I might make the claim about my music, especially when asked

  24. as opposed to the young, impressionable junior that I am now

  25. or, more precisely, the lack thereof

  26. and also Spanish because my mind groups things oddly

  27. broken