Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Deos tihs mkae any sncee?

I recently received an email, which said the following:

"fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too"

"Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can."

"i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae.. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it."

We all have them. People we know who are among our email contacts, who, everytime they receive one of those "cute" emails, without hesitation forward it to everyone. (Hint, Hint, Rosie).
But I digress. I don't completely agree with the above argument. I was able to read the scrambled words, but it wasn't just because the first and last letters were in the proper place (most of the time). It was also because it was in context. For example, consider this word:

How long did it take you to figure out that word? Probably a while. Now, try this word, with some context:

"The Cutistotinon of the Utenid Saetts"
Much easier this time, right? That's because you had some context. You figured it out faster because it was in context, in spite of the fact that it was a longer and more complicated word. Don't just take what you read in certain emails at face value. There's usually more to the story.

1 comment:

Kyleigh said...

Hmmm... (taht wrod dseon't wrok so wlel)...
To be honest, I'd never thought about it just working in context - but it makes sense - we have trouble unscrambling words in newspaper Jumbles (which, in my defense, I only do at my grandparent's house, and do them with my grandmother, mom, or Candace).
I envy your ability to be so discerning all the time, James... it's something I'm working on a lot!