Typoglycemia

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Typoglycemia is a neologism for a purported recent discovery about the cognitive processes involved in reading text. The word is a portmanteau of "typo", for typographical error, and "hypoglycemia".

The principle is that readers can comprehend text despite spelling errors and misplaced letters in the words. It is an urban legend and Internet meme that appears to be correct.[1] The following example of typoglycemic text was circulated on the Internet in September 2003:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.[1]

Although the text is littered with errors, it is still relatively easy to make out the words. No such research was carried out at the University of Cambridge.[1]

These emails may have been inspired by a letter from Graham Rawlinson of the University of Nottingham to New Scientist in 1999[2] in which he discusses his 1976 Ph.D. thesis,[3] or perhaps by the research of Thomas R. Jordan's group on the relative influences of the exterior and interior letters of words.[4]

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  1. ^ a b c Davis, Matt (2012). "Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae..." MRC: Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit. Cambridge University. Retrieved 2016-07-04.
  2. ^ Rawlinson, Graham (29 May 1999). "Reibadailty". New Scientist (2188). Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  3. ^ Rawlinson, G (1976). The Significance of Letter Position in Word Recognition (Ph.D.). Nottingham, UK (unpublished): University of Nottingham. Cited in Davis 2012,
  4. ^ Massaro, Dominic; Jesse, Alexandra (17 March 2005). "The Magic of Reading: Too Many Influences for Quick and Easy Explanations". In Trabasso, Thomas R.; Sabatini, John P.; Massaro, Dominic W.; Calfee, Robert (eds.). From Orthography to Pedagogy: Essays in Honor of Richard L. Venezky. p. 42. ISBN 978-0805850895.

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