Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i-TFTD #278: Amzanig Sepillng?

i-TFTD #278: Amzanig Sepillng?

I cd not blveiee taht I cluod aulactly uesdnatnrd waht I was rdeanig. The phaonmneal pweor of the huamn mnid - Aoccdrnig to a rserecah, it deosn't mttaer in waht ored! r the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseaae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Amzanig? and I awlyas tohught slpeling was ipmorantt!

One of the nicer forwards that has been in circulation for a while. Some clever and logico-analytical readers (like me) may think that this is rigged, that there is some specific pattern in which the letters have been jumbled. I have tried a few times to make up such sentences and found that it works in almost all cases.

This triggers many thoughts: (i) there are fascinating aspects of the human mind and language that continue to be discovered (ii) Sticklers for spelling and grammar (like me) need to remind themselves that the essence of communication of mean! ing lies elsewhere (iii) Part of the reason the above garbled text seems to work is that we rarely pay close attention to what is in front of us, approaching things with a preconceived bias so in situations when we feel an impulse to react strongly we should step back and look at the facts afresh. (iv) Another good reason for this to work is that the mind tries to understand things in relation to the context! rather than in absolute terms.

Points (iii) and (iv) are the source of many perceptual tricks and psychological experiments.

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