Carsten Becker <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>  > Ok, that's perfectly clear now.
>  > Of course, it assumes the language in question has words
>  > for "right" and "left."
>  > Are those universal?  I seem to recall reading that some
>  > cultures did not distinguish right & left.
> IIRC the Chinese as well as other cultures have N/E/S/W
> instead. There are indeed people who know where the
> absolute directions are most of the time. I couldn't tell.

If you live in an area with landmarks it is easy.  For example, people
who live in Denver, CO, you [generally] learn quickly that the Rocky
Mountains, visible pretty much all over town, are to the west, which for
the most part makes orienting oneself easy, even when the [fairly
regular] street grid fails one.  [There are people who do not acquire this
skill; it makes giving directions to them rather difficult; when
giving directions with left and right, you have to take into account
things like what direction they're coming from, etc.]

(Interestingly this is mentioned already in Wikipedia's article on Denver...)

Where I lived before, in TN, I never could get the hang of the
cardinal directions.


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