Back in 2005, good old Jerry brought up typoglycemia, the ability to read words if just the first and last letters are correct, but the rest are scrambled. Here is an article about it. Even though the letters of that paragraph looked very weird, I was able to read it with ease. One wonders why we get so intense about spelling. I also wondered how glycemia became part of the word. After all, it means glucose in the blood. Does anyone know?
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
And the claim that the order is unimportant as long as the first and last letters are are correct is wrong. This article has some examples that are difficult to read even though the first and last letters are correct. Here is one:
A dootcr has aimttded the magltheuansr of a tageene ceacnr pintaet who deid aetfr a hatospil durg blendur
Whoever wrote the original meme ("Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde uinervtisy") manipulated the text so that it was easy to read. Short words are easy when the letters are jumbled. In the original meme a lot of words are not jumbled at all. "Transpositions of adjacent letters (e.g. porbelm for problem) are easier to read than more distant transpositions (e.g. pborlem)." None of the jumbled words spell a different word. If they did, this would make it more difficult to read.This message has been edited. Last edited by: goofy,
Well, I'd be careful relying on Snopes with something like this, though your second link is better. It seems to indicate there are parts of it true, but not all of it:
I've written this page, to try to explain the science behind this meme. There are elements of truth in this, but also some things which scientists studying the psychology of language (psycholinguists) know to be incorrect. I'm going to break down the meme, one line at a time to illustrate these points, pointing out what I think is the relevant research on the role of letter order on reading. Again, this is only my view of the current state of reading research, as it relates to this meme. If you think I've missed something important, let me know.
I was interested by the Snope's link to Uncle Jazzbeau's Gallimaufrey's site - remember that? It was z's site.
Goofy, this is a more scholarly discussion and therefore out of the expertise of Scopes, I think. They do investigating that any of us could do, but they don't have specialized training or expertise. At any rate, that's my take on Snopes.
Surely though this is about a language hoax, rather like the x words for snow, and hoaxes definitely are their thing. If they say there is no trace of the alleged "research" then there most likely isn't. If it was actually based on research I'd agree with you but it seems not to be.
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
Right, the claim is that there is research at Cambridge University that the order of letters within words is unimportant to reading comprehension. But there is no such research at Cambridge or any other university.