Monday, October 27, 2008


All writers have problems with editing. The process involves going over sentences and paragraphs until we almost have them memorized. While this repetitive process has its rewards, there is also a downside. The more familiar the material becomes, the easier it is to overlook the omission of short words or the transposing of letters. Children, who learned to read with a strong emphasis on phonics, tend to see every letter in a word. The rest of us tend to recognize words in the same manner we recognize any other object. Words to us are pictures and the transposing of one or two letters might go unnoticed. In a recent study, Cambridge University offered the following paragraph as an example.

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

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulacity 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 bcaueae 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 imphorant!

1 comment:

cruizen4u said...

This is truly amazing. I had read about it somewhere and at first I was shocked at the paragraph I was asked to read. Then it all clicked and they are right. So long as the first and last letter are in the right place it is readable!!!!