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Can You Raed Tihs?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the you-have-for-years dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 997

An aoynmnuos raeedr sumbtis: "An interesting tidbit from Bisso's blog site: Scrambled words are legible as long as first and last letters are in place. Word of mouth has spread to other blogs, and articles as well. From the languagehat site: '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.' Jamie Zawinski has also written a perl script to convert normal text into text where letters excluding the first and last are scrambled."

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997 comments

Yes, a cat's got my tongue, OK? (4, Funny)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969201)

Quick! Someone go register goaste.cx, micorsoft.com, ssdlhoat.org...etc.

Actually, does this work well with letter pairs like, "th ch wh sh qu?" I forget what those are called.

Re:Yes, a cat's got my tongue, OK? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969280)

Actually, does this work well with letter pairs like, "th ch wh sh qu?" I forget what those are called.

Digraphs? [reference.com]

Re:Yes, a cat's got my tongue, OK? (5, Insightful)

Bame Flait (672982) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969315)

Actually, does this work well with letter pairs like, "th ch wh sh qu?" I forget what those are called.

The reason it DOES work well with those letter pairs is that they aren't familiar at all in reverse. You're more likely to udnerstand their juxtaposition as what it's supposed to be, because you're used to it being one way.

Where it DOESN'T work as well is when you begin breaking up complex phonemes or diphthongs in short words. Konw what I'm sayin'?

Re:Yes, a cat's got my tongue, OK? (2, Insightful)

MourningBlade (182180) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969344)

Actually, does this work well with letter pairs like, "th ch wh sh qu?" I forget what those are called.

They're called dipthongs. There's also tripthongs, though I can't think of any English ones right now.

And no, they don't appear to work quite as well. I had trouble reading a few words that had split dipthongs.

Split dipthongs? Sounds kinky.

Re:Yes, a cat's got my tongue, OK? (2, Funny)

focitrixilous P (690813) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969374)

I know! goaste.cx could be some kind of crazy ASCII based pr0n site! That would creep people out who were trying for goatse.cx!

At Lsat! (5, Funny)

Urantian (263132) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969203)

Bad splelnig no logner nedes to hlod aynnoe bcak!

Re:At Lsat! (5, Funny)

Hamstaus (586402) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969225)

Bad splelnig no logner nedes to hlod aynnoe bcak!

As if that's stopped anyone on Slashdot before.

Re:At Lsat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969346)

Silence looser!

The bset prat (5, Funny)

kuwan (443684) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969341)

The best part of the pearl script is the copyright notice:

# Coyprgiht (C) 2003 Jamie Zawinski
#
# Premssioin to use, cpoy, mdoify, drusbiitte, and slel this stafowre and its
# docneimuatton for any prsopue is hrbeey ganrted wuihott fee, prveodid taht
# the avobe cprgyioht noicte appaer in all coipes and that both taht
# cohgrypit noitce and tihs premssioin noitce aeppar in suppriotng
# dcoumetioantn. No rpeersneatiotns are made about the siuatbliity of tihs
# srofawte for any puorpse. It is provedid "as is" wiuotht exerpss or
# ilmpied waanrrty.

Here you go (5, Informative)

JM Apocalypse (630055) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969205)

No need to open the terminal ... Jeff comes to the rescue!

http://jeff.zoplionah.com/scramble.php [zoplionah.com]

Re:Here you go (4, Interesting)

DoomHaven (70347) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969306)

Yuor porgarm has a falw. It csnoiders pinctuouatn mkars as ltteers and tuhs any word wtih a pntctuuaion mark at the end wlil condeisr the fanil mark to be the lsat letter.

Re:Here you go (1)

JM Apocalypse (630055) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969330)

What can you expect? I wrote it in about 5 minutes from the period of time from when I read to the article to when it aired on slashdot.

Re:Here you go (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969351)

That script refuses to scramble the word "cool"

Grammer Nazi (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969214)

it slef

I think this should be "istlef". At least the capitalize the first letter of each sentance. I can't read those lower case comments.

--
From a wanna-be grammer nazi.

Can You Raed Tihs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969221)

No.

Hangs head in shame (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969222)

What? L337 speech isn't really all that elite? Say it ain't so!

Don't thank a teacher (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969223)

If you can read this, don't thank a teacher

---

Those who can, do.

Those who can't, teach

Those who can't teach, teach teachers

Those who can't teach teachers, administrate.

In the office I work (1)

suso (153703) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969232)

We always go hoem after work. Also, we repine a lot too.

Re:In the office I work (1)

frdmfghtr (603968) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969291)

OK, I admit it...I didn't get what "repine" was supposed to be...so beat me with a wet noodle.

Hmmm (5, Interesting)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969239)

So d__s t__s m__n t__t we d_n't n__d t_e m____e l____s at all?

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969259)

That's crazily crazy ... that's the first comment I could EVER understand on slashdot.

Re:Hmmm (5, Interesting)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969311)

Okay, I know it's bad form to reply to one's own post, but I noticed something. When writting "letters", l____rs seems more recognizable than l_____s. Apparently plurals are handled by the brain as the word followed by the plural suffix. Interesting...

Re:Hmmm (1)

RealAlaskan (576404) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969375)

When writting "letters", l____rs seems more recognizable than l_____s.

More information means more readable. This surprises you?

Re:Hmmm (1)

TLouden (677335) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969313)

nope. don't need then at all. In fact, this could be the next fad in cryptography, i don't see any problems ;)

Re:Hmmm (5, Insightful)

insanecarbonbasedlif (623558) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969314)

I t___k y__r p__t is p___f t__t we d________y do n__d t_e m____e l_____s.





Read: I think your post is proof that we definately do need the middle letters.

Re:Hmmm (5, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969371)

Bt we nd te ss fr te wd cs.

But we need the spaces, at least, for the word cues.

So how many "bits" of information can we strip from a sentence, on average, before we can no longer intuitively decipher it? The spaces give us information, but not as much as the letters themselves. Yet clearly the ordering of the letters contains much less information than the contents of a word's endpoints. This is odd stuff.

Re:Hmmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969322)

Note: the middle letters aren't necessary to get your point accross, but the middle finger still is.

bottomOf( barrel); (-1, Flamebait)

greygent (523713) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969242)

Jesus Christ, like I haven't seen this enough times already in chain emails and probably every "blog" on the face of this planet.

Thanks for this highly informative and unique piece of information!

Re:bottomOf( barrel); (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969355)

No shit, and the ENDLESS Slashsnot trying to be witty with some retarded joke.

Woho hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969244)

Wrer not iodits, wrer aeahd of our tmie.

First and last, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969246)

That is not always teh case.

In Svoiet Rsusai (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969250)

In Svoiet Rsusia, seplling bdas yuo!

So in other words... (5, Funny)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969253)

It's a perl script to format normal text into text that looks like a perl script? I think my head is spinning.

Does this work for non native speakers? (5, Interesting)

PredatoryDuck (699918) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969255)

I showed this to a student here who is native to Indonesia, so english is not her first language, and she had a very difficult time reading it. Any thoughts on why this might be so tied to your native tongue? I would have thought that anyone fluent in english (which she is) would be able to read the post without much difficulty.

D

Re:Does this work for non native speakers? (1)

Ice_Balrog (612682) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969334)

Probably because you have had 10-20+ years of English, while she has had only maybe 5 or less.

Of course, I may be wrong on the numbers. But you get the point.

Re:Does this work for non native speakers? (1)

jojo80 (99781) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969357)

English is not my native tongue (German), but I, for one, didn't have any problems reading it... the only problem was "important" which is spelled wrong in the text :))

Re:Does this work for non native speakers? (4, Interesting)

Hamstaus (586402) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969363)

Spoken language and written language are two separate entities when it comes to usage and process. It is not uncommon to find people who are very well-spoken in a second language, but cannot write a word. I would venture to guess that your student takes much longer to read something in English than in her native language, despite her fluency. The patterns of English words would still require more concentration and interpretation by her brain than those of her native language, which have been ingrained into her since she was very young.

You did not mention if she is a fluent reader/writer, speaker, or both? From what you describe I would say that when you said "fluent" you meant as a speaker.

Re:Does this work for non native speakers? (1)

Senjutsu (614542) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969365)

My guess would be that, although she is fluent in spoken english, she's not as good at reading it as a native speaker would be, and is still sounding out the words mentally in order to determine the content.

My reasoning being that it's fairly well know that anyone experienced in reading english (or any other language with an alphabet-based writing system) actually identifies (known) words by their shape, and not by their letter order. It would take us forever to read if we had to serially process each letter, after all. My bet is that this "ticrk" is just exploiting that aspect of our visual processing capabilities.

Re:Does this work for non native speakers? (1)

illuvata (677144) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969370)

english isn't my native language, but i can read that scrambled stuff.

Re:Does this work for non native speakers? (4, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969378)

I would have thought that anyone fluent in english (which she is) would be able to read the post without much difficulty.

Actually, since I'm not British, the final word of the canonical scramble threw me off:

Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe. ceehiro.

I read the rest of the text correctly, but I had a devil of a time figuring out the reference to the Miyazaki film Spirited Away, also known as Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi [nausicaa.net] !

Re:Does this work for non native speakers? (1)

dubiousdave (618128) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969380)

Maybe it's a difference between the way young children learn language versus the way adults learn it.

OT: SCOX admits that "we're" a threat in Q10 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969261)

These are from their 2003-09-15 Q10 filing [sec.gov]

"We are informed that participants in the Linux industry have attempted to influence participants in the markets in which we sell our products to reduce or eliminate the amount of our products and services that they purchase. They have been somewhat successful in those efforts and will likely continue." -- Page 35

And oh... this was brought to you by Sun Microsystems and Microsoft:

"During the three months ended July 31, 2003, Microsoft Corporation (?Microsoft?) accounted for approximately 25 percent of total revenue and Sun Microsystems, Inc. (?Sun?) accounted for approximately 12 percent of total revenue. During the nine months ended July 31, 2003, Microsoft accounted for approximately 16 percent of total revenue and Sun accounted for approximately 12 percent, of total revenue. There were no outstanding receivables from these two customers as of July 31, 2003. During the three and nine months ended July 31, 2002, the Company did not have any customers that accounted for more than 10 percent of total revenue." -- Page 19

PS. Sun got a little gift for their money:

"In connection with the payment of $2,500,000 to us by Sun during the quarter ended July 31, 2003, we granted a warrant to Sun to purchase up to 12,500 shares of our common stock, for a period of five years, at a price of $1.83 per share. This warrant was valued at $150,000 using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model and reduced our licensing revenue for the quarter ended July 31, 2003 by that amount." -- Page 22

I said it before... [slashdot.org]

Gaylonghair.com (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969266)

I was browsing over at my favorite long-haired homosexual men forums and found a fellow unix geek [gaylonghair.com] looking for love.



If you want to have a good time, visit us at the bulletin boards [gaylonghair.com]

Yours Truly,

Erect Stromwell Ramrod

o siht (1)

TLouden (677335) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969269)

now everyone is going to start writing like this and give me even more head aches. I hope that guy also wrote a script to decrypt the words.

grammar still not optional (4, Interesting)

kellan1 (23372) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969273)

This meme has been kicking around blogland for a couple of days, and it definitely seems to be true. The only part of the above paragraph that was difficult to read was the sentence, "the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae".

Normally I would never post a comment about grammar, but it is kind of startling that in a block of text that jumbled the absence of 'the', and the swapping of 'is' for 'are' still jump out at you.

Spammers have known this for years... (1)

tommertron (640180) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969275)

Almost every spam I get (it always seems to be penis enlargement spam for some reason) always has the subject and most of the body mixed up - usually even worse than the example here. A great way to get past spam filters - and it's always obvious what "elnr3ge yxyrr m3imbr!" means - even if it has the effect of instantly making me know it's also spam.

So what is this info useful for? A spammer's tool? Perhaps know that we know how well we can read garbled words, we can (attempt) to build better spam filters?

Re:Spammers have known this for years... (1)

cmallinson (538852) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969381)

That's just to get around the filters that look for key words and phrases.

This is amazing (1)

Froze (398171) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969285)

I have not been this blown out by a discovery for a long time. I imagine that many people will feel the same way, but I have one question:
What are the possible uses for this?
It seems quite at odds to be this astounded by something that, as far as I can tell, has absolutely no purpose.

Interesting (1)

Rkane (465411) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969286)

Interestingly enough, I found that I could read through that post almost at full speed, even though all of the letters were mixed around.

Now the only problem is that it takes the average person a LOT longer to mispell words than it does to spell them right. I mean, can you really make yourself type "slahsdot" wihtout taking longer to think it through? It takes active concentration to type it, but not to decode it back to the way it should be.

Re:Interesting (1)

Bryan_W (649785) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969368)

I mean, can you really make yourself type "slahsdot" wihtout taking longer to think it through?

maybe you should ask slashdor [slashdor.com]

ugh (1, Insightful)

kennedy (18142) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969289)

ok *fuck* this bullshit. no, seriously.

i've had it up to here with all this "teh" and
"pwn" shit, but now this?!

man this makes me feel SO old. what the hell are you kids huffing after school anyway?!

Yes I could read it but... (4, Funny)

mark_space2001 (570644) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969300)

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.

...but it's like reading a post by a 12 year old on a forum someplace ... or like playing an online game with a bunch of l33t doodz. I hate it.

Don't ever do this again, Slashdot.

Virus alert! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969302)


Given how many copies of this I've gotten in my mailbox over the weekend, I suppose we should classify it as a meatspace virus.

Whats WITH this? (1)

Mage Powers (607708) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969303)

I've known this for years, it comes from reading other peoples writing on slashdot and at scohol, sometimes even if thye dont remember what they're talking abotu when writing it can still make snese. Humans have built in error correction

Yesterday's News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969304)

This has been all over slashdot over the last few days. I can't believe they made this crap into an article, but have not mentioned the free state project once...

Only part of the answer.... (5, Interesting)

Mattcelt (454751) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969319)

Understanding a language is only 50% comprehension. The other 50% is being able to predict what will come next based on previous experience. This is especially important in spoken language, because the brain simply does not have the power to parse each word separately in real time.

So while it is possible to understand words that are not spelled correctly, it can still take a while to understand if the nxet few wdors are not qieut waht you epcext. It is aslo mcuh lses pbatldicree wehn you use lgenor wdros.

I hpoe tihs was an imuilntinag eplamxe!

Mclettat

Excuse? (2, Funny)

theolein (316044) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969323)

I wonder if the origins of this trend aren't in the terrible spelling and bad grammar that many internet age children employ, having gone through a school system that accepts MS Word's spelling correction as normal?

Carnivore... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969327)

I wonder if the CIA/NSA crew take this into account when they run text through carnivore...

but try reading one word at a time (2, Interesting)

redenopolis (702461) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969329)

the mistake is in saying that the unscrambling is
done at the word level. jump you eyes randomly into
the text and try to read just one word in isolation.
as someone on cogling@ucsd pointed out, there are
also a bunch of non-scrambled key words that help
your brain figure out what the in-betweens should
be. anyhow, point being that it's not a feature
of word recognition that you can read it, but rather
a feature of higher-level reconstruction.

mt

larger effect (1)

Dan9999 (679463) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969335)

I wonder what the effects of training would have to bring people to a level where entire sentences are read the same way.

Also, what effect will this theory have on ai programs that need a trim on their amount of execution.

Is it possible that face (or whatever) recognition algorythms could benefit from this?

Could this be the beginning of lossy compression for text?

Does the law allow me to change my name for the sole purpose of being able to experiment with it in this way? btw, my name is Dan.

LOL (0, Redundant)

Snaller (147050) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969337)

That's great, you can actually read it :)

(No, moderator, don't waste a point on modding this redundant, do your job and find something interesting to mod UP instead)

The oldest story to ever hit slashdot. (1, Insightful)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969339)

Wow! What an incredible revela... wait. That's not interesting at all.

Seriously. Raise your hand if you had no idea that the human brain could intuitively make corrections to faulty input.

Ok, anyone raising their hand is a moron.

Think about this for a moment (1)

slycer9 (264565) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969342)

Many people reading this right now are coders.
We're all being told that spelling isn't important.

WE'RE ALL BEING GROOMED TO CODE FOR MICROSOFT!!!

Just english? and for all words? (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969345)

Can this assumptions be false for other kind of languages or a priori is universal? At least in spanish after a few tries looked to me less clear than in english.

Also... what happen when the scrambled word is another valid word? Or a misspelled valid words?

ceehiro, indeed (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969354)

Funny...I read the whole thing without problem, except for "ceehiro"--probably because my linguistics tend to be sound based and I think of "ch" as one thing.

Deson't quite work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969360)

for erunmoos wdros like asssseehdbnnnaaamrtttliiiiim or prrnnnnmmaatoooooooooiiiiiilllsssvuueccccccps though.

Not entirely accurate (5, Interesting)

StewedSquirrel (574170) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969367)

The "consonant pairs" seem to always be still paired in these words.

If I type

sllpenig it's clear I'm typing "spelling"

but, if I type

slpenlig it's not so clear anymore.

What about: according

Aoccdrnig (as in the article) is ok but...
aocdrncig is not nearly as clear

There's a limit to how far your brain can stretch it. Some consonant pairs your brain DOES intepret much like a single letter, because it's an irregularity in english.

Words that use such consonant pairs and triplets like "tch" are much harder to distinguish when those pairs and triplets (which really sound like a single letter) are split.

Stewey

This is good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969369)

While this bodes well for CmdrTaco, there is still two letters per word he could mess up.

Long words excluded (1)

Oarsman (87375) | more than 10 years ago | (#6969372)

I tried a script posted and put in some long words. The word "typographically" was almost impossible to decipher, and I even remembered the sentence I typed in. For short words, this article makes sense, but I doubt it can be upheld with longer and longer words. Could make for an interesting paper or science project.

Jumble Authors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6969373)

I have a feeling that the folks that do the jumble puzzles for the newspapers have known this one for a long time.
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