Sunday, August 21, 2011


Spelling over the last few
years has been the subject of
a commonly mailed piece of
Internet “wisdom.” And I
Aoccdrnig to rscheearch by
the Lngiusiitc Dptanmeret at
Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it
deosn't mttaer in waht oredr
the ltteers in a wrod are, the
olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht
the frist and lsat ltteer be at
the rghit pclae. The rset can
be a total mses and you can
sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn
mnid deos not raed ervey
lteter by istlef, but the wrod
as a wlohe.
Translation: According to
research by the Linguistic
Department 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 at the right place.
The rest can be a total mess
and you can still read it
without a problem. This is
because the human mind
does not read every letter by
itself, but the word as a
This paragraph has been
widely circulated on the
Internet since 2003, and it is
still referred to, either as a
point of interest or to defend
inconsistent (poor) spelling,
or choosing not to teach it. Is
it because it rings of the truth
that it makes scholars and
educators cringe? Hardly.
Among other things, there
was no such research, and
the words in the passage
don’t follow the rule of “only
the first and last words
matter.” It’s a myth. It is
fluent readers who can figure
out this highly predictable text
– and the path to fluent
reading includes a firm
foundation in the sounds
represented by letters and
their spelling .

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