Stewardesses, or: How much fun can you have with only your left hand?

Posted by in Just For Fun, Questions

Typing with just one hand holds a special appeal to people, in this fast-browsing internet age; keeping one hand on the mouse while the other does the typing work is the pinnacle of laziness/ power-browsing. But assuming you were to actually follow the QWERTY typing rules, how much could you really say with just your left hand? I ran across an old article discussing exactly that, and with my passion for useless stats and facts, it quickly and easily took me down the rabbit hole.

The author of the post wrote a simple computer script that scrolled through a dictionary, picking out words with the letters “asdfgqwertzxcvb” while ignoring words that included the letters “yuiophjklnm.” Amazingly, this script returned nearly 3,000 words! That’s twice the vocabulary of the average 5 year old! Of course, most of these left-hand words are pretty crazy, and not much use in regular conversation; but still, how much of a story do you think you could tell with such as lexicon? And more importantly, how much fun would that be to type? The author of the above-mentioned post gave it a crack:

“Brad stared at Debra, a sweet stewardess, as Debra’s stewardess cart swerved. “Tea?” Debra greeted Brad. Brad’s face creased as Debra stared. Brad detested tea….”

Haha, go ahead and transcribe those few sentences. How much fun is that? Poor little right hand gets no attention at all besides a few silly punctuation marks.

Anyway, the thing most people end up wanting to know is: so, what is the longest word that you can type with just your left hand? Most of those “fun facts” lists claim that the answer is “stewardesses,” even though “reverberates,” “watercresses,” and “desegregated” are also all 12 letters long. Although to be fair, “stewardesses” is probably the most common of those words.

However, there is at least one word that’s longer, that I could kinda-sorta see myself using: “devertebrated“, at 13 letters, which means lacking stamina. Although to be honest, I would probably use it while cleaning a fish.

Other sources:
[Interesting English Language Trivia]
[Longest word typed with only the left hand]