Sunday, January 20, 2008

How mnay poelpe can raed tihs stennece?

I this in a "forward" e-mail message not to long ago:
ONLY some PEOPLE CAN READ THIS... : 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!

Since many (most?) of us sight read you can probably figure this out. (If not see below). I think this study might actually show that we can do this fun little trick because we were taught to read the word as a whole, not just "that's what the mind does". Maybe, what it learns to do over time... But maybe they were finding what they were looking for. (Yeah, I love those kind of studies.) Still, this is interesting, and makes a lot of sense. The mind is fascinating. I'd like to learn more.

ETA: I think sight reading is part of the reason I'm such a poor speller. Instead of writing letters of the word sounded out, I write what letters I think should be in the word. English is weird and doesn't always play by the rules anyway... I don't really know.

I was reminded about this by a post at In a shoe . com. There are ties to dyslexia from sight reading. The term Educational dyslexia is used in the article. Interested?

(This is what the jumble above says, just in case it doesn't make sense to you: I couldn't believe that I could actually understand what I was reading. The phenomenal power of the human mind, according to a research at Cambridge University, it doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be in the right place. The rest can be a total mess and you can still read it with out a problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole. Amazing huh? Yeah and I always thought spelling was important!)


Michelle said...

Yeah, I've seen this one before. I learned Phonics, but I can still read it. As time goes on in our lives, we don't sound out every word every time we read. They do eventually just get memorized. Nonetheless, I think it's fascinating.

Anonymous said...

And I'm a phonics kid, too, and had no problem reading it! :)