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I found this delight in Taroob's Blog (always worth a read)

Anyway it seems that as long as the first and last letter are correct the brain will work out the word.

Go ahead and read the following and you probably be surprised at how easy it is.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr 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 bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

Which as authors may give us an idea for alien languages or ancient scrolls needed in our stories to describe some long lost bedroom practices like hertoesxeaul ones.

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Anyway it seems that as long as the first and last letter are correct the brain will work out the word.

Go ahead and read the following and you probably be surprised at how easy it is.

This isn't true. I've seen this before and what one person did was to take the paragraph and reverse the order of letters in every word, apart from the first and last. It was unreadable.

There is a theory that word and object recognition operates in a similar manner to a holographic filter. If you have a hologram of the letter 'H' (for example), and view some text through that hologram, the letter 'H's in the text are clearer and more obvious -- effectively highlighted. This works even when the letter H is in a different font, though the more it varies from the originally hologrammed 'H', the weaker the highlighting.

If this theory is correct, then we are reading those words through the equivalent of a holographic filter and because the words are close, we recognise them. If they were too different (such as reversing the order of the middle letters), we don't recognise them any more.

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Thanks for pointing that out Graeme (about it not being true that you can just mix the letters) as it saved me some trouble trying to prove that very thing. It is fascinating that someone went to so much trouble to create that in exactly that way to make us believe it. :lol:

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Well, I wasn't expecting to have an in-depth examination on what I would term a parlour observation for fun, but the following link, does exhibit that there are some who find the above phenomenon, of some scientific curiosity, to say the least.

After the opening remarks, you will need to scroll past the other language translations to get to the more interesting points of discussion.

http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/~mattd/Cmabrigde/

Also you may find this academic examination of Bayes' theorem relevant:

http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/~dennis/BayesianReader.pdf

Clearly this reference shows that there is more to the phenomenon than meets the eye...or the brain, in more ways than one:

Representing Word Meaning and Order Information in a Composite

I don't propose that we all discuss thee references. I only site them to show that serious work on word recognition (both phonetic and visual recognition) are taking place. These may have inspired the original (fun) text of this topic.

In any case we can see that building or creating a language for use in fiction can be based on research into how we recognise words. This is what I found of interest for authors who might wish to explore the idea of using language in fiction in unorthodox ways.

The following page discusses an example that is very interesting however, on Anthony Burgess's Novel, "A Clockwork Orange" in which he created the Nasdat language for the purposes of the plot.

Scroll down to "2. The Nasdat" in the following link.

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/9145/aco.htm

:lol:

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Just for the fun of it, I ran it thru spell check to see what would happen.

I cdnuolt believe that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phenomenal power of the human mind Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cambridge Uinervtisy, it doesn?t matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only iprmoatnt 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 wouthit a problem. This is bcuseae the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole. Amazing huh?

As you can see, it recognized most of the words and didn't come close to recognizing others.

Jan

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  • 2 years later...

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