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Aoccdrnig to rscheearch… refers to an intentionally misspelled copypasta that suggests people can still process written words no matter what order the letters are in, as long as the first and last letter are in place. Since its online emergence in 2001, numerous variations of misspelled text have been circulating around discussion forums and Q&A sites.
According to Google custom searches, the earliest instances of the text can be found on a number of optical illusion-related webpages cached in January 2001. By mid-September 2003, various versions of the following text began spreading around via e-mail, blogs and web forums, which was noted by writer Brian Sawyer in a blog post published later that same month.
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a tatol mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, 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.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid! Aoccdrnig to a rseaerch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deson’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?
Languagehat, which may have been the initial site that popularized the copypasta, cites their source as the blog “Uncle Jazzbeau’s Gallimaufrey”, in which blog author “Jim” links to a number of published articles that seem to be related to the phenomenon, as well as an earlier post on his blog in which he posted a similar piece of scrambled text that did not have the viral spread of “Aoccdrnig”:
[R]andomising letters in the middle of words [has] little or no effect on the ability of skilled readers to understand the text. This is easy to denmtrasote. In a pubiltacion of New Scnieitst you could ramdinose all the letetrs, keipeng the first two and last two the same, and reibadailty would hadrly be aftcfeed. My ansaylis did not come to much beucase the thoery at the time was for shape and senqeuce retigcionon. Saberi’s work sugsegts we may have some pofrweul palrlael prsooscers at work. The resaon for this is suerly that idnetiyfing coentnt by paarllel prseocsing speeds up regnicoiton. We only need the first and last two letetrs to spot chganes in meniang.
Languagehat also linked to David Harris’ blog “Cathemeral Thinking” where he explained that as a memetic experiment, rather than reprinting the copypasta as-is, he re-wrote it with minor changes before posting it, and then edited his post a few days later with yet a third version. This allowed him to track the progress and spread of the different versions separately. Furthermore, although the comments do not seem to have been archived, apparently some readers posted French and Portuguese versions of the text.
Sleon une édtue de l’Uvinertisé de Cmabrigde, l’odrre des ltteers dnas un mtos n’a pas d’ipmrotncae, la suele coshe ipmrotnate est que la pmeirère et la drenèire soit à la bnnoe pclae. Le rsete peut êrte dnas un dsérorde ttoal et vuos puoevz tujoruos lrie snas porlblème. C’est prace que le creaveu hmauin ne lit pas chuaqe ltetre elle-mmêe, mias le mot cmome un tuot.
De aorcdo com uma pqsieusa de uma uinrvesriddae ignlsea, não ipomtra em qaul odrem as lrteas de uma plravaa etãso, a úncia csioa iprotmatne é que a piremria e útmlia lrteas etejasm no lgaur crteo. O rseto pdoe ser uma ttaol bçguana que vcoê pdoe anida ler sem pobrlmea. Itso é poqrue nós não lmeos cdaa lrtea isladoa, mas a plravaa cmoo um tdoo.
While the study mentioned in the text does not actually exist, the copypasta became widespread via LiveJournal in September 2003 and subsequently picked up by English language and literature blog Languagehat later that month. The text meme reached Metafilter and the beta board on the 14th, before it was featured on the tech news site Slashdot.
The text was reprinted in the December 2003 issue of Reader’s Digest with the title “It’s All So Ovibuos” and attribution to Jonathan Powell. In 2007, Snopes posted that the truth behind the “research” is still undetermined. A Google search indicates that a version of this paragraph exists on around one million web pages as of February 2012; the copypasta remains in active circulation with recurring threads on various forums and reference sites ranging from Yahoo Answers to Democratic Underground.
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