Ordering of Letters doesn’t matter

Fascinating. As soon as I figured it out, I read the rest of the paragraph as fast as I could, which was pretty close to normal speed.

bq. Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are at the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

The implications for my son are, well, frustrating. He’s seven, and he’s left handed, so learning to read and learning to spell are both slightly harder for him than for righties (according to unspecified research :-).

There was other research recently that shows that dislexia doesn’t manifest in other languages the way it does in English; I wonder if this spelling result holds true across languages, or if it too is a property of English?

(I got it from “Joi Ito’s Web”:http://joi.ito.com/archives/2003/09/14/ordering_of_letters_dont_matter.html).

posted at 1:15 pm on Sunday, September 14, 2003 in Personal, Science and Technology | Comments (3)


  1. Hi, I just discovered your blog. I think your unspecified research might be incorrect. I am left-handed and have never had any worries about spelling. My handwriting is crap though, but that’s a whole different story altogether. In my experience, after meeting quite a few left-handed people, the lefties tend to be smarter and more analytical thinkers than righties.

    That’s just my two cents. please don’t give me change.

  2. jok says:

    Hey, I think you just discovered a neat scrabble tool.

  3. Harald says:

    The claim is that left-handed children manifest some of the same symptoms as dyslexic children; specifically letter reversals (b vs d, p vs. q) and letter transpositions (the classic god vs. dog :-). Lefties eventually grow out of this, and catch up with everyone else, but it does make learning to read a bit harder.

    Of course, since I’ve only seen this manifest in one person, I’m hardly qualified to support or refute said unspecified research…

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