Jedmulbd Txet

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

I'm sure lots of you have seen this. But, as with most people, I couldn't just leave it alone at that. Is it really true and there's research done into it? Are there exceptions? Or is it justs someone's lame joke on the world and spam filters?

I'm always intrigued by things like this that drop unexpectedly into my mail. The first thing that I wonder, "Is it true?". It annoys me that people don't worry about just hitting the "forward" button without first checking the facts. And it's not that difficult to do so.

So is it true? Well, the answer isn't quite as clear as you might think. First stop, the great, and they confirmed what I suspected - that it may not have recently come from research from an English University after all. Well, it's not to say that there isn't, but nobody's stood up and raised their hand and said, "it's me!".

In fact, dig a little deeper and you eventually come to a letter sent to New Scientist that shows research in this area has been around since the mid-seventies (link thanks to Matt Davis from the Congnition and Brain Sciences Unit of the University of Cambridge who has a long discussion on this matter).

Even better, Mr. Davis has counter-examples which show what the statement above claims (that it "doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be at the right place") is not always true:
A dootcr has aimttded the magltheuansr of a tageene ceacnr pintaet who deid aetfr a hatospil durg blendur

Do I have too much time on my hands? Probably.
posted on Sunday, October 12, 2003 - permalink
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