Are miexd up wrdos esay to raed?
You may well have seen e-mails or articles along these lines:
Don’t delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to rsreeach at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit plcae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig, huh.
Well, I think the above text (when you unscramble it) is making too big a claim that “it doesn’t matter” what order the interior letters of a word are in, and that you can read such passages “without a problem.”
There are certainly quite a few other sites that have talked about this claim:
- An actual Cambridge researcher’s rebuttal and analysis
- A UI analogy
- A discussion at a design site called SimpleBits
The easiest way I can think of to show the claim is dubious is to have you test yourself. Here are three sentences I scrambled using a quick program I wrote to randomize the interiors of words:
- Docotr Sumgnid Fuerd neevr desimailcd reguioils idaes needlslsey.
- Riandeg tihs txet is claetniry pbosilse — hevweor, i’ts aslo cmuotpe innevtise.
- Enre’yveos potohn tdrpooeos mriuclsoulay elxedopd cetmpelloy utesirnsed.
Clearly, the longer the word, the harder it is to unscramble it. The shorter words in this article’s title are easy to decode, but the longer words in the three example sentences, especially less frequently used words like “disclaimed” or “compute” or “photon,” are probably not immediately recognizable.
Now you try it!
Want the original version of my three scrambled sentences? Keep reading.
- Doctor Sigmund Freud never disclaimed religious ideas needlessly.
- Reading this text is certainly possible — however, it’s also compute intensive.
- Everyone’s photon torpodoes miraculously exploded completely unresisted.