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Subject: Re: Scrambled text heads up post (off topic!)
From: Theresa Mesa <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 15 Sep 2003 07:42:51 -0700

text/plain (79 lines)

See, I had some problems reading it, because I often do read every
letter (and lest one thinks that slows me down, the last I was checked,
I read at 750 wpm with 100% comprehension). Some words--especially the
shortest words--I read as units, but others, not so much. I was taught
phonics by the nuns in Catholic school, not by any Evelyn whutsername's
reading method. And I taught my daughter to read by the same methods
when she was 4 years old.

I'd love to know the specifics of the research and how the study was
designed to see if this was even a legitimate study, or did someone
just say it was a study, the research was done, and that was supposed
to suffice? Were the results replicated elsewhere, or even replicable
in the first place?

Sorry, but I've copyedited too many lay medical books--had to keep my
eye out for this sort of thing. And I couldn't immediately decode some
of the words below.

Theresa Mesa
If you find any typos, I meant for them to be there. I'm keeping you
alert. You can thank me later.

On Monday, September 15, 2003, at 07:24 AM, Kristin.Dooley wrote:

> I found this link at metafilter.
> Someone has created a script that lets you produce scrambled text that
> follows the rules of this concept:
> "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 total 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."
> Here's the link to the script:
> The discussion on metafilter good. One poster doubted the research,
> could not find the source and produced an example that was not quite
> as readible to challenge the basic concept:
> Tihs nxet papgrraah was psrecoesd tuohrgh the Slbrmecar Srcpit.
> I snlreiecy digarese wtih the perisems put frtoh aobut scbrialnmg
> wrods, so I'm itionltlnaney enrovdaenig to ulizite leetnghir
> cpocmtaeild wodrs, not nclesiesray uonommcn wrdos, taht can not be
> dceerihped as ieuntlivity as tohse in the oirginal prgpraaah. The
> frist of my dsiceorives is taht wrods endnig in sufefxis or bnegining
> in pierxfes bmecoe daggesiend form the frist/lsat ltteer rothlpisneias
> taht spupedsloy are the baiss of the pmseires, and bemcoe mcuh mroe
> clinaelnhgg, amsolt ieclenaipbhrde. See?
> A further discussion at:
> And another blogger found out the source of the article, an April 22,
> 1999 issue of nature. The info, but not the article, are at:
> Since it is already being discussed lots of places and it is off-topic
> on this list, I'm hoping I don't provoke a lot of further discussion
> here. However, I know some of you are interested in this topic and
> might want to enter into the already existing conversations spreading
> out across the web!
> Also please feel free to e-mail me directly if you'd like to comment.
> kristin
> Also, p

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