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Spelling Quiz

My husband sent this little email quiz to me yesterday. It has been circulating the Internet for quite some time, but it is still intriguing.

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

I was able to read this quickly and easily, stumbling over only the word strange in the headline. How did you do?

I did a quick Internet search this morning in an attempt to discover if the information was accurate and who the author might be.  Unfortunately, I was unable to find the original author, if there is one. If anyone knows it, please leave a comment so I can give proper credit.

What I did discover, though, was that this did not originate from research done at Cambridge University. Matt Davis, a scientist who works at the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, has a long webpage devoted to this ever-circulating email. Davis attempts to explain which statements in the above paragraph are true and which are incorrect. It was interesting reading, if you’ve got an extra few minutes.

I also found The Jumbler. Type in your own text, jumble it and see if you can still read what comes up.

Can you read this?

I sltil fnid ecah day too srhot for all the tthguhos I wnat to tnhik, all the wklas I wnat to tkae, all the bkoos I wnat to raed and all the ferdins I wnat to see. ~ Jhon Bhguruors

Names, obviously, are not so easy to read. Longer words are more difficult too.

Here’s the original, one of my favorite quotes:

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. ~ John Burroughs

Does this little exercise tell us that correct spelling is not important? Or does it tell us anything? What do you think?

2 comments to Spelling Quiz

  • I wdneor fi it si aslo the sjecbut mteatr? The tnoe fo taht fsirt tnihg is all aoubt the aezmanemt of bnieg albe to raed the jblemud up wdors. It si esay to gseus at smoe of the wdors wouhitt aautclly ridnaeg tehm jsut by the cetnoxt. Yuor qotue was mroe duliffict buescae I wnast albe to apcaintite waht was cionmg nxet.


    I wonder if it is also the subject matter? The tone of that first thing is all about the amazement of being able to read the jumbled up words. It is easy to guess at some of the words without actually reading them just by the context. Your quote was more difficult because I wasn’t able to anticipate what was coming next.

  • We studied this way back when I was training as a special ed teacher (over 10 years ago.:)) Part of it is the way the mind is wired. Many kindergarten and first grade teachers naturally teach vowels first despite the fact that the brain can easily decipher words in context without the use of vowels. The consonants are most important.

    Right brained thinkers have a much easier time deciphering mixed words and the same goes for visual over audio learners. My children and I are all dyslexic and my oldest loves to point out that one of the benefits of dyslexia, once it is overcome, is the ability to read things in any order. Upside down, backwards, inside out–if the letters are there it makes no difference, and my most left brained child is able to unscramble letters, even with long words, faster than the rest of the family. It takes her a split second to figure out a mixed seven letter word.

    There have been multiple studies done on how the brain interprets the written word and if I could find my “Teaching Learning Disabilities” book I could site them. Either way, what is put forth here is true and is the same as what we were learning before this email spread across the internet. 🙂

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