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First and Last Letter of a Word
Editor / City & Guilds
- June 20 2011
Like any other academic field, English-teaching is not lacking in its own para-phenomena either - as the intriguing example below demonstrates, which proves the age-old wisdom that language is all about the intricate workings of the human mind. A juggle of letters, whose sequence does not on the surface of it make up registered lexis, can still be constructed as a meaningful body of text provided the first and last letters remain in place.
This little demonstration is also a worthy and fruitful activity for relaxation during an English classroom yielding - besides a moment or two of merriment - a realization of how reading skills work.
Take a look at this paragraph. Can you read what it says? All the letters have been jumbled (mixed). Only the first and last letter of each word is in the right place:
I cnduo't bvleiee taht I culod aulaclty uesdtannrd waht I was rdnaieg. Unisg the icndeblire pweor of the hmuan mnid, aocdcrnig to rseecrah at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mttaer in waht oderr the lterets in a wrod are, the olny irpoamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whoutit a pboerlm. Tihs is bucseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey ltteer by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Aaznmig, huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghhuot slelinpg was ipmorantt! See if yuor fdreins can raed tihs too.
I couldn't believe that I could actually understand what I was reading. Using the incredible power of the human brain, according to research at Cambridge University, it doesn't matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be in the right place. The rest can be a total, mess and you can read it without a problem. This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself, but the word as a whole. Amazing, huh? Yeah and I always thought spelling was important! See if your friends can read this too!