September 17, 2003

Scrambled Eggs

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 total 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... amzanig huh?

Posted by at September 17, 2003 02:40 PM

Holy shit, that's awesome.
It's as easy as reading the original.
I'm dumbfounded.

Posted by: gene on September 17, 2003 08:48 PM

Where is the source for this? News article? Cambridge site? Give me a url.

Posted by: gene on September 17, 2003 08:59 PM

That was so cool. I didn't notice anything was wrong until rscheearch and I couldn't figure out how you could have messed it up like that and then I said oh well and continued to read and went, "Ohhhhhhhh"

Posted by: nuala on September 17, 2003 09:38 PM

I believe I'm alone in the following sentiment, but am I deterred from ranting about it? No.

I absolutely disagree with this. Not only does messed-up text read considerably slower for me, it makes me profoundly angry to have to rearrange the writer's letters to turn them back into English language. I read through once, blithely and speedily, because I'm confident that my mind will catch up in deciphering the words that look like they'll make sense. Then, the jarring incorrectness of the misspellings hit me. I realize that what I actually read wasn't intelligible words, and I go back to see what it was. It's a mess, so fixing it up is a guessing game-- albeit a not-very-difficult one thanks to the magic of context-- which is much less enjoyable than just reading words that work properly the first time around.

I'm a stickler about the English language. I like it to be precise. I like it to be clear. I'm quite happy with the fact that the English language has enough words and shades of meaning that one can actually write in ways that make one's intended communication clearly intelligible, a quality which this sort of cruel and unwarranted language-abuse completely undermines.

In short, fuck that shit.

Posted by: dianna on September 18, 2003 11:26 AM

I, too, am anal-retentive when it comes to using correct spelling and grammar, and dislike incorrectness though perhaps wouldn't go so far as to call it language abuse. However, I would argue that language is constantly evolving and to decry such changes in language would be a mistake as those changes come with cultural shifts and allow description and more of those nuances and shades of meaning you (and I) love.

But besides all that, I think the point of this exercise was to marvel at the flexibility of the human brain, not incite laziness and apathy in people with regards to communication...or cruel and unwarranted language-abuse.

Gene: I'm not sure where it came from. It was passed on to me by a friend.

Posted by: jade on September 18, 2003 01:34 PM

Languages evolve, but that isn't what gives them their ability to convey shades of meaning. You can't encourage a language to evolve in order to make it able to convey even more nuances; all you get from the part of it that's currently in flux is more confusion while people adjust to the change and sort out what it actually means, which, I will admit, is sorted out by consensus and usage as much as by any sort of rules.

I also admit that my reason for ranting the above rant, and continuing this discussion in this not-so-much-of-a-rant, is pretty much just that the subject gave me an excuse to rhapsodize on the English language and its usage. The actual subject here, the Cmabrigde, sorry, Cambridge, study, just bugs me because I'm used to seeing unintentional terrible spelling that looks like that and being annoyed with it for being terrible spelling. I won't dispute its legibility, but I also have to beat my fists against the wall about it just a little.

Posted by: dianna on September 18, 2003 11:44 PM

Evolution doesn't give them their ability to convey shades of meaning, but innuendos, puns and double entendres a very much a byproduct of culture. While you can't make a language evolve or make it convey more nuances, you can use what comes naturally through changes in culture. Language is useless if it can't keep up with its culture, and while there may be some initial confusion, I would argue the change can lead to a richer, and fuller language.
As to your rant, if this allowed you to vent general frustrations, I am all the more happy to have provided the forum. I am all for ranting and raving at the top of one's lungs. Please note my tagline at the top. =)

Posted by: jade on September 19, 2003 10:01 AM

Hmm. I suppose that typo might diminish the efficacy of my argument. Sorry. It should say: "...double entendres are very much a byproduct...."

Posted by: jade on September 19, 2003 10:03 AM
i am speaking the english, no?
you want engrish mopping with bother?
som tos?

Posted by: tboy on October 3, 2003 07:52 PM