Whither Cecil's column on scrambling the middle letters of a word?

I’ve tried several searches on the archive to find Cecil’s column where he mythbusts the oft-forwarded e-mail that said that there was a study taken at some university which proved that if you scrambled all the letters in a word, except the first and last, then it would still be legible to a human. But I can’t find it.

Does the archive rotate through articles? I’d thought that it had everything that had ever been uploaded. (Or am I going batty and Cecil never did a column on this subject?)

Tihs tpioc was mnetoined in pasisng in Ucna Ccee’s Aripl 8, 2005 cloumn: Is it possible to be dyslexic in Chinese?

Its not a myth though. It is a rather profound and striking effect that you can test on yourself.

“Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch 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 toatl 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.”


More links in the Snopes article.

Oh, I think you mean that the cite itself is false. Maybe but there have been studies on this phenomenon.

Rawlinson, G. E. (1976) The significance of letter position in word recognition. Unpublished PhD Thesis, Psychology Department, University of Nottingham, Nottingham UK.

Cognition researchers will study damn near everything especially something as obvious as this. I would suprised if there aren’t lots more published studies.

Hey, it works for me. I can read all of the paragraph without missing one word. Now, I can type without worrying about misspelling a word.