Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eonverye taht can raed tihs carp rsaie yuor hnad

To my 'selected' strange-minded readers... If you can read the following 2 paragraphs, then you must be a genius! Eh? Huh? Hmmmm! Not really...

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

The clue is to try and read this fluently as if you had a correctly spelled text in front of you. I tried to do this that way, and it actually came out much faster than when I focused on each word separately, trying to decipher it... Now, I finally know what psychologists are good for... Would be interesting if someone wrote an entire book this way, not?

Thx to my great pal Shaun B. for sending me this one... on my third anniversary of this blog!


jasssminita said...

it's absolutely cool!

David Resseguie said...

Yes you can read this particular example, but the premise that "as long as the first and last letters are the same you can read it" is false. I tested it and wrote a simple Perl script that jumbles up passages, leaving the first and last letters of each word in place. You can't read even the most familiar of passages unless specially constructed such as this example.

sgruenwald said...

David, that's interesting. Did you find any rule that works? These words here look pretty randomly scrambled to me. But there must be hidden rules what the brain recognizes and what not.

David Resseguie said...

Here is a sample perl script that simply reverses the middle of the word.

print $1.reverse($3).$4.reverse($5).$6." ";
print "\n";

Usage: ./jumble.pl < passage.input

Using this against the original text from this example, you can see that it's much harder to read (although somewhat simplified because you already know what to expect).

Cndluot bveilee taht I cluod alautcy unatsrednd waht I was rnidaeg. The panemonehl pewor of the hamun mnid, anidroccg to a rehcraeser at Cgdirbmae Utisreviny, it dnseot mettar in waht oedrr the lrettes in a wrod are, the olny inatropmt tnihg is taht the fsrit and lsat letter be in the rhgit pcale. The rset can be a tatol mses and you can slitl raed it wuohtit a pelborm. Tihs is bsuacee the hamun mnid deos not raed erevy letter by ilestf, but the wrod as a wlohe. Anizamg huh? yaeh and I ayawls thguoht snillepg was inatropmt!

What about this familiar passage?

Fuor sroce and seven yraes ago our frehtas bhguort ftroh on tihs cnenitnot, a new noitan, ceviecnod in Ltrebiy, and detacided to the poitisoporn taht all men are cetaerd eauql.

Now we are eegagnd in a gaert civil war, tnitseg wehtehr taht noitan, or any noitan so ceviecnod and so detacided, can lnog erudne. We are met on a gaert blttae-field of taht war. We hvae cmoe to dtacidee a poitron of taht fleid, as a fanil rnitseg pcale for tsohe who hree gvae tiehr levis taht taht noitan mhgit lvie. It is aehtegotlr fnittig and peporr taht we sluohd do tihs.

But, in a legrar ssnee, we can not dtacidee, we can not ctarcesnoe, we can not hollaw, tihs gnuord. The bvare men, lnivig and daed, who selggurtd hree, hvae cetarcesnod it, far avobe our poor pewor to add or dcartet. The wlrod wlil llttie ntoe, nor lnog rebmemer waht we say hree, but it can never fegrot waht tehy did hree. It is for us the lnivig, rehtar, to be detacided hree to the uehsinifnd wrok wcihh tehy who fhguot hree hvae tuhs far so nlboy aecnavdd. It is rehtar for us to be hree detacided to the gaert tsak rniniameg brofee us, taht form tsehe heronod daed we tkae iesaercnd doitoven to taht csuae for wcihh tehy gvae the lsat flul mrusaee of doitoven, taht we hree hlhgiy rvlosee taht tsehe daed slahl not hvae deid in vian, taht tihs noitan, uednr God, slahl hvae a new btrih of fodeerm, and taht gnemnrevot of the plpoee, by the plpoee, for the plpoee, slahl not psireh form the etrah.

Much harder...

I haven't taken it farther to determine what rules actually DO work though. IANAL (I am not a linguist), but it seems the example misapplies the idea that the mind reads "the word as a whole". It's not the letters that we read as a whole, but the overall form (shape) of the word. That's why reading all caps is much slower - the overall shape becomes rectangular for every word. So if the jumble maintains some key form/shape of the original words, you can probably read it. It would be interesting to look into this more formally.

Anonymous said...

I believe it maers also on the content of the word in the sentence and if the reader actually knows what the words means. For example if one did not know what Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious meant (bad example but still) and i scrambled it to Siiteculoxilrciiidlieaurcfagosppas you would have no idea what it meant or another easier example is if you didn't know what uhh... Acumen meant and i said Aecmun you would not know what i meant but, that is just my theory.