Monday, 10 April 2006
Somebody kindly sent me this via email:
Readers may well have seen this before – these things tend to do the rounds. Three questions:
To answer this last question I had to resort to Google. Now Google and I have not always been the best of friends. Not content with denting my ego, Google would insist on correcting what it perceived as my poor spelling. Eventually, I chanced upon what on the Internet is commonly called a fisking of this piece, from some “reading experts” on a website called the Illinois Loop.
I never thought of myself as a competent decoder, but that’s because I’m not a reading expert.
Fair enough. I do wish that reading and other “experts” would learn to write clear, simple prose. Another commenter makes the point far better as follows:
It makes a difference, too, how severely you mangle the letter order. Try this version:
Adocrnicg to rrheashecc by the Litunsgiic Dmrepnteat at Cgmdabrie Uvtinseriy, it dsen'ot mtetar in waht oerdr the lteerts in a wrod are, the olny inpeamott tnihg is taht the fsrit and lsat lteter be at the rghit palce. The rset can be a ttoal mses and you can slitl raed it wtouhit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the hmaun mnid deos not raed eervy lteter by iestlf, but the wrod as a wolhe.
This convinces. It is a bit of a con, but quite a good one.
Apparently something called “synthetic phonics” is now making a comeback in schools. This was probably how I learned to read, but I have absolutely no recollection of the process. A taxi driver once told me he had never learned to read. This was a London black cab, so he would have needed to pass “The Knowledge”, a rigorous test of his knowledge of London streets. This takes literate taxi drivers at least a year, and even they develop a larger than average hippocampus in the process. How clever this man must have been to do this without being able to read. What might he have achieved had been able?
Posted on 04/10/2006 7:42 AM by Mary Jackson
10 Apr 2006
Does it work for music?
One can mess with a lot of parameters and, if the piece is sufficiently well known, still capture its connotative power without copyright infringement, or at any rate, just blatantly ripping it off.
Seems to happen a lot with things like the theme from Jeopardy or Mission Impossible, though I'm also reminded of Victor Borge playing the William Tell Overture with the sheet music upside down...
I heard somewhere that if a woman has the right handbag nobody notices anything else she is wearing.
Couldn't tell you-- I don't know that I've ever had the "right" handbag. But that's an accessory that, when properly oversized, garish, and expensive-looking, can draw attention away from its wearer being dressed like anything short of Uncle Sam.
Is it true, or is it a bit of a con?
Works for me. The odd thing is, the faster I try to read the words with the letters out of order, the easier it is... which would explain why those quick re-reads of what I've just written always seem to let a typo or two slip by.
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