Thursday, March 30, 2006

Etnemreneaint and Siecnce (initiated by Steve)

Seemingly in 2003 an internet meme started to spread about the readibility of texts containing scrambled letters. The "original" paragraph goes like this:

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.

This phenomenon has now reoccurred to me, and I looked up the facts behind it. Two nice pages provide further insight. Whoever might be interested, have a look at Matt Davis's website and the Urban Legends Reference Page (by the way in general an interesting website). In sum, this phenomenon can be observed in several languages. However, it is a gross simplification, and--as always in science--the claim depends on several more factors. It is siltl vrey itesrentnig.

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