Susan Hill
5 February 2012

Someone sent me an email about reading – not just with individual letters out of order – but this time using numerals. I thought I would share it with you. Can you read this? 

7H15 M3554G3

53RV35 7O PR0V3

H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N

D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5!

1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5!

1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG

17 WA5 H4RD BU7

N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3

Y0UR M1ND 1S

R34D1NG 17

4U70M471C4LLY

W17H 0U7 3V3N

7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17,

B3 PROUD! 0NLY

C3R741N P30PL3 C4N

R3AD 7H15.

PL3453 F0RW4RD 1F

U C4N R34D 7H15.


I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseaethe huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

To me this highlights the importance of prior knowledge and what the reader brings to the text. The downside is that sometimes when reading the fine print, we read what we want to read.