From: Gunnar Swanson
> I'm confused about the immersive reading thing. Isn't it as
> opposed to reading word-by-word? If kids are stumbling over
> reading aloud (thus not good at word-by-word) are they
> really about to cruise in auto-drive?
Immersive reading is when you resolve and compile
strings of letters more often than individual letters.
These strings can be whole words (since the blank
space is a great delimiter) or they can be parts of
words if the word is too long and composed of parts
that are frequent and distinctive enough to be picked
off as boumas. Interestingly, this mechanism can throw
things off, like in the word "readjust".
I don't know exactly what you mean by "stumble",
but some stumbling is actually good: even for an
adult proficient at reading regressions tend to
be about 15% of saccades. It's bascially a clue
that you're pushing the limits of accuracy, this
being the basis of the heuristics of reading.
From: Curtis Clark
> Over on Webdesign-L, Joe Clark brought up Kevin Larson's
> ATypI presentation that discounted the importance of boumas.
And there's been a long and deep discussion of the merits
of his presentation on the ATypI discussion list, although
it's still the tip of the iceberg.
Although Kevin's model (which might be called the parallel-
letterwise model) sheds light on what happens in the fovea,
there's enough empirical* and anecdotal** evidence that we
rely heavily on boumas (especially as we gain proficiency)
that I'm not worried. I've been collecting all of Larson's
references, and so far they all seem to suffer from some-
thing I've seen time and again: too narrow a focus and lack
of typographic sensitivity. Most of Larson's empirical data
seems to preclude immersion in the first place.
* Such as the fact that we skip over words, and that
the average saccade length is 2-3 times the span of
the fovea outside of which individual letters simply
cannot be resolved.
** Such as the importance of serifs and tight letterspacing.