It deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are?

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe. ceehiro.

It deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are?

Via Slashdot and dozens of other sources.

I hadn’t blogged this because I never found a credible citation (some versions of this meme specify Cambridge, but I’ve seen nothing authoritative or convincing). Meanwhile, Kieran of Crookedtimber doesn’t buy the explanation above.

If the first and last letters must always be in the right place, then any word three letters long or less will always be spelled properly. Having those words around adds a lot of context to a sentence, helping the reader to process the other words. To really test the idea, we need samples of text where that kind of context is missing.

And the new sample quote is indeed much harder to read:

Recrsheears souhld csrncotut secntnees unisg olny wodrs edxcieneg terhe lttrees. Tihs wlil psoe seevral polrbems beaucse wwreell-ittn Esglinh sluohd nlurtaaly cointan mnay sorht wrdos iunidnlcg pvrn-eborses, gtienvie csaes, cncoeinvets and (howpos) penrpsoitois, aongmst many ohtres. Lnoegr wrods soluhd povre useufl when tteinsg tihs ieda.

A fun test and a good example of critical blogging.