Sunday, March 18, 2007

How brain stores the words we learn...

A Hrae one day rdiiluced the shrot feet and solw pcae of the Torotsie, who rpeleid, luagihng: "Thoguh you be siwft as the wnid, I wlil baet you in a rcae." The Hrae, bleeiivng her cahlelnge to be smilpy ipmpsosbile, agered to the porpsoal; and tehy argeed taht the Fox sohlud chosoe the cuorse and fix the gaol. On the day apopitned for the rcae the two satretd tgoehter. The Torotsie nveer for a mmonet stopepd, but wnet on wtih a solw but steday pcae srtaihgt to the end of the cuorse. The Hrae, liyng dwon by the wasyide, flel fsat aselep. At lsat wkanig up, and mvoing as fsat as he cuold, he saw the Torotsie had raecehd the gaol, and was cofmortably dzonig atfer her ftaigue.

That’s the beauty of the human mind. Once it knows the right spellings, it is capable of figuring out even if the letters are jumbled up in each of the words. Notice though that the first and last letters of each word are correct – it’s only the in-between letters that are jumbled.

Now let’s see what happens if I keep the letters in-between untouched but the first and last letters are interchanged.

A Earh eno yad didiculer eht thors teef dna wlos eacp fo eht Eortoist, ohw deplier, gaughinl: "Hhougt uoy eb twifs sa eht dinw, I lilw teab uoy ni a eacr." Eht Earh, gelievinb reh ehallengc ot eb yimpls empossibli, dgreea to eht lroposap; dna ehty dgreea that eht XoF dhouls ehoosc eht eoursc dna xif eht loag. No eht yad dppointea rof eht eacr eht owt dtartes rogethet. Eht Eortoist reven rof a tomenm dtoppes, tub tenw no hitw a wlos tub yteads eacp ttraighs ot eht dne fo eht eoursc. Eht Earh, gyinl nowd yb eht eaysidw, lelf tasf psleea. Ta tasl gakinw pu, dna govinm sa tasf sa eh doulc, eh was eht Eortoist dah deacher eht loag, dna saw yomfortablc gozind rftea reh eatiguf.

A totally new language! :)

It’s amazing how important the first and last letter of each word need to be correct for our brain to decipher the meaning!

Here is the actual version of the story:

A Hare one day ridiculed the short feet and slow pace of the Tortoise, who replied, laughing: "Though you be swift as the wind, I will beat you in a race." The Hare, believing her challenge to be simply impossible, agreed to the proposal; and they agreed that the Fox should choose the course and fix the goal. On the day appointed for the race the two started together. The Tortoise never for a moment stopped, but went on with a slow but steady pace straight to the end of the course. The Hare, lying down by the wayside, fell fast asleep. At last waking up, and moving as fast as he could, he saw the Tortoise had reached the goal, and was comfortably dozing after her fatigue.

Now if you think about it, our mind actually reads the first and last letter of each word but just glances the letters in between. That is why we are able to ascertain what the word is and read at a reasonably fast pace. Since the in between letters are glanced - it really doesn't matter if they are jumbled up. But replace the first and last letter (even with a simple rule as exchanging them with each other), then the mind struggles to read :)
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