There are a lot of things I always wished I could do better, but spelling didn't usually find its way onto the list. Sure, there are words I can't spell, but for the most part, it comes easy to me. And I've been proud of that.
So then I received this in an email yesterday:
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.
And you know what? I could read the whole thing without barely batting an eye. Took a little edge off my Pride In Great Spelling trait. Regardless, I'm so intrigued by "stuff" like this.
Of course I can't just read something and take it at face value so I Googled a couple of words to see what I could find. Several pages have been devoted to this paragraph:
- It seems Matt Davis of the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge learned that such emails had been going around in '03 and wrote this page in response.
- Then I found Garnet Chaney's page about it here. (You have to scroll down past some white space to see the full content.)
- I also found PsyBlog, which gives a most concise overview with links to Matt Davis' page and also to
- Snopes.com, which has never failed me when I look for information about something sent to me via email. Here's what they have to say about it.
I got caught up in the first page although I haven't finished reading it. Mostly I was thinking about how interesting it is to imagine if it were your job (as it's stated on the home page of the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit) to "investigate fundamental human mental processes." I know a lot of people who perform informal, highly unscientific investigations about human mental processes. But such "investigations" tend to start with, "Can you believe he said this to me last night?" or "I swear I have got to find another job. That moron I work for..."
I'm thinkin' it's not quite the same thing...