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How we read words whose letters are jumbled up!

  1. Mar 17, 2013 #1

    I think a similar finding was done by some research team in an East Coast university, right ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2013 #2
    I don't remember where, but paragraphs exhibiting this phenomenon have been posted on PF before. In addition to jumbling the letters, there were also replacements of digits for letters, like 4 for a and 3 for e as in leet. Even so, the paragraphs were easily readable.
  4. Mar 17, 2013 #3


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  5. Mar 17, 2013 #4
    I remember that from this paragraph people used to post where the letters of the words were jumbled except the first and last letters, and you could read the whole thing. The claim was that you only needed the first and last letters to be the same and you could tell what the word was.
    But they didn't mention that a lot of words are 3 letters, which don't change at all, and words with 4 letters were changed very little, which made the paragraph intelligible mainly because you knew the context of the longer words.
  6. Mar 17, 2013 #5
    THe UK team did contribute a lot to the research. I was a little surprised when the same idea was posted on sciencedaily.
  7. Mar 17, 2013 #6
    The article is misleading. You only see the phenomenon for sentences with simple structure and using very common and unambiguous words. It doesn't work in general.
  8. Mar 17, 2013 #7
    I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.
    Can you read this?
  9. Mar 17, 2013 #8
    Wikipedia says it's a myth.
  10. Mar 17, 2013 #9


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    Maybe it's scale-dependent. I thought most of Wikipedia had been written using the same method, but at the sentence and paragraph level :devil:
  11. Mar 17, 2013 #10
  12. Mar 17, 2013 #11
    I was so amazed when I could read this without even thinking about it! Tihs is just isn4ne! I am osberving this feonmenon for the fisrt time.
    Th3 fin4L t35t w0u|_D pr0bably |3y b0t|-| c@hngi|\|g 7h3 0rd3r 4Nd r43pla$ing s0m3 le77erz wih7 n0mbre$ @|\|d wirrt7nk inorc3t w0r|)z .
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2013
  13. Mar 17, 2013 #12
    The final test would probably be both changing the order and replacing some letters with numbers and writing incorrect words.
  14. Mar 19, 2013 #13


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    If that's true the post before you would show Wikipedia to be unreliable on this subject.
  15. Mar 28, 2013 #14
    I am unsure how this is not the exact same as simple recognition/patterns/ect, which of course are not myths.

    How long has the "license plate" game been around for?

    /kənˈspikyo͞oəs/ that is the pronunciation of conspicuous which of course is not

    /ken'spish'uass/ and to me anyways is completely unrecognizable as the word Conspicuous.

    I'd guess a paragraph spelled Phonetically would also get the message across....as would diagrams.

    I sometimes typed up stuff for a sales rep of ours, he hand writes stuff and often is about farming & includes jargon. His hand writting is messy and sometimes I can't make out the words....or even guess what they maybe...I'm not not a farmer and the context eludes me.

    Duobl porlor robt mlkr =???? btw a google search of Duobl porlor robt mlkr pretty much figured it out. And I'd doubt is was much different from the way we do.
  16. Mar 31, 2013 #15
    My spelling is so bad it's not funny but if you jumble the letters up I can find all the words. I don't know how but I do.
  17. Apr 1, 2013 #16

    Oh I get it but it's really a trick and not a phenomenum
  18. Apr 18, 2013 #17
    Try making sense of isolated words...like 'bucseae'. By itself it is meaningless,, so you are getting a lot of info from context and word position.

    Also for a limited subset (as in roadsigns) one can often tell the word from the overall shape of the word as a whole.
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