Can you read this?

July 1, 2007 at 05:21 AM · LOL, this spam made me think of one of our favorite members:

This is a unique test! Do your best


fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny 55 plepoe in 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde

Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit

pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh ? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs forwrad it.

Replies (57)

July 1, 2007 at 05:24 AM · Our debt to him is incalculable.

July 1, 2007 at 05:36 AM · Yes, I could read it. But I'm reminded of a request I've thought of making. Any way a spell check could be installed here? Of course we'd have to teach it some technical words. When I post, I often review my post several times to see if I can catch mispellings or typos. I'll still often miss something. But I've noticed that editing is not an option when responding to a blog - thus my second request. Hantks - er, thanks!

July 1, 2007 at 05:46 AM · I read it easily, but I don't like it. I'm making a little extra money editing technical papers and papers for undergrad and grad students, so spelling correctly is very important to me.

July 1, 2007 at 06:02 AM · i swa htis befroe nda ahd no prboelm raeding ti. It may not work in other languages such as Chinese when the characters are more like pictures than strings of phonetic entities.

My husband, being a serious scholar who publishes frequently, has a habbit of correcting people's misspelling in an automatic manner. He'd be correcting the misspelling in restaurant menus or any other printed matter. My job as government policy maker requires a lot of writing and sometimes excessive editing.

If language is a tool for communication, spelling is overrated, imho.

July 1, 2007 at 06:09 AM · Yixi, the first and last letters can't be changed.

I could read it better than normal English. Really. Because it grabbed my attention since it was fun to experience.

July 1, 2007 at 06:18 AM · Jim, what did you mean the first and last letters can't be changed? I just ddi!

July 1, 2007 at 06:37 AM · Dnot get sramt wtih me. I cnat keep up.

July 1, 2007 at 08:20 AM · Only 45 people in 100 can't read it. How well can that group read anything?

July 1, 2007 at 10:24 AM ·

July 1, 2007 at 10:25 AM · Wow, I was right.

The more a thread doesn't deal with violin the more i t co ll e cts re pl i e s

July 1, 2007 at 10:28 AM · We've all been well trained by Buri's posts.

July 1, 2007 at 11:47 AM · If not a violin issue, let’s see about making this musical.

If you jumble the notes within a beat, i.e. mix up the 16ths, would a musician be able to “read” the notes in the right order?

How about jumble the notes within a measure, rearrange the grouping within a phrase?

A run probably would be automatically fixed as well as any familiar passage.

Getting back to language…

Does this occur in all languages?

It seems easier when the first letter is correct.

I recall something similar by leaving out vowels, or a particular part of speech.

July 1, 2007 at 11:57 AM · This example is more readable than Buri's contributions. He has generally fewer errors but does not bother with the assisstance of correct first and last letters.

I will second Rafael's suggestion for a spell checker if it is feasible.

July 1, 2007 at 12:09 PM · I have a hard time believing the 55/100 figure, I'd think it was higher.

July 1, 2007 at 12:14 PM · My English is not so good, but... Could this text be the "User guide" for some post-modern piece of music, written by the composer himself...?

July 1, 2007 at 02:32 PM · It is an intellectual tragedy that in today's world most people don't spell gud.

July 1, 2007 at 03:19 PM · Tell the truth Laurie... Buri wrote that didn't he.

July 1, 2007 at 03:27 PM · Ha ha...

Yeah, I can read the that...

But I found out sometimes it's still hard to read Buri's post...

July 1, 2007 at 03:34 PM · I see that all the time, but I work in a high school. Sigh.

July 1, 2007 at 04:35 PM · My cousin Chip sent it to me!

July 1, 2007 at 04:57 PM · It's been around for a while. The first time I got it was back 2005.

July 1, 2007 at 05:15 PM · Don't blame me. I use spelchak.

July 1, 2007 at 05:48 PM · "From sharelle taylor

Posted on July 1, 2007 at 1:20 AM (MST)

Only 45 people in 100 can't read it. How well can that group read anything? "

:-)) Answer: They can't. At all:-))

July 1, 2007 at 06:26 PM · Whoever is interested, the latest version of the internet browser Firefox comes with automatic spell-check. It will put a red line under words that are's a pretty bad dictionary, though, but at least it's a start.

Pretty funny stuff.

July 1, 2007 at 10:26 PM · Hi,

To me, it was quite easy to read, but I am astonished that only 55% of people could read this. I wonder how that is...


July 1, 2007 at 11:53 PM · Ti culod be a ttolaly bgous satitstic...

July 2, 2007 at 01:34 AM · I wonder if it works in Hungarian...

...on second thought, I'd better not even try...

Seriously though, I'm also surprised that only 55% of people can read that--reminds me of how weirded out I was to discover that lots of people can't read upside-down.

July 2, 2007 at 06:12 AM · I read it quicker than most of Buri's posts ... but then he doesn't always start with the right letter .....

July 2, 2007 at 01:11 PM · I thought the original post WAS Hungarian! (Or was that Cretan Linear B?)

July 2, 2007 at 01:26 PM · >We've all been well trained by Buri's posts.

Oh, Peter (and Teresa), you beat me to the punch line.

I think the "55 in 100" is a bit of an urban legend. I think it's just a way to make everyone who "gets is" (surely more like 90%?) feel superior. The bigger question to me would be how quickly someone gets it; whether they have to think about it first, or if it flows right into their brain correctly.

Words - even convoluted ones, apparently - are my friends. Now, try a test like this with numbers, and I'd be one of those hopelessly floundering ones. It's kinda embarrassing.

Tnahks for the Mdanoy mnroing biran tasee, Liarue!

July 2, 2007 at 04:55 PM · I can read it! But we had to read something like that in highschool as part of an English exam. Hmm....

July 2, 2007 at 05:57 PM · hmm, were the 55/100 people all dyslexic? lol :)

July 2, 2007 at 06:58 PM · A point of interest:

try reading it very quickly, and you'll note that it is actually easier. That's because, as Laurie pointed out, we actually read in blocks, (one word being a small block) and fast readers do this moreso than slow readers.

This is basically how speed-reading works: You train yourself to read in larger & larger blocks, until one paragraph becomes only two - four blocks.

I imagine that classical musicians benefit from years of sight-reading notes, since something similar happens there.

July 2, 2007 at 10:32 PM · What's the connection with violin?

Probably this thread should be terminated.!!

I'll allow you to collect up to 100 replies after which

I'll inform Laurie about that...just a moment!..but Laurie it's you!!!


July 2, 2007 at 10:40 PM · Greetings,

Woody Allan said he onec took a course in speed reading. `We read War and Peace- it was about Russia.`



July 3, 2007 at 01:17 AM · Have you ever noticed that if the front door secretary is a skits-zoid the whole company is also. LOL They think they are all normal!

July 3, 2007 at 06:46 AM · Antonio, I suppose there is a loose connection (apart from the one in my brain :)! )with violin.... I can think of a similarity in how we sight-read music .... we learn to see groups and patterns, not individual notes.


July 3, 2007 at 12:02 PM · OK, let's relate this to the violin, so that Laurie won't throw it off the website:

Tkicshvkoay Voliin Cerotnco

July 3, 2007 at 02:08 PM · ON PRBLEMO

July 3, 2007 at 07:58 PM · Wow. I lokeod at the tltie and dcirsptoen and dndi't eevn nticoe athniyg wnrog wtih it for aoubt fvie scodnes.

Does anyone have this fake "dyslexic" thing with sightreading? I don't, so my sightreading is pretty much right on every time. It seems odd that I can accidentally mix up letters but not notes.

July 3, 2007 at 09:31 PM · I just used this thread as a teaching aid this morning for a student who was picking her way through a Kreutzer etude roughly note-by-note. I used the opening paragraph to illustrate the point about grabbing a whole word (excuse me: "wrod") and disregarding the fiddly bits in the middle. Similarly, in the Kreutzer, I had her try to grasp groups of four 32nd notes rather than individual notes, reading patterns rather than dots.

The result was that though she hadn't practiced all week, she instantly increased the tempo at which she could play the etude by roughly two-and-a-half times. 250%, in other words.

Yes. Thank you, Laurie!

July 4, 2007 at 12:44 AM · You are wlceome!

July 4, 2007 at 12:46 AM · Hey, my girl, Natalie, just read this out loud at normal speed. She's nine!

July 4, 2007 at 01:01 AM · I could read it pretty well.. though it took a minute to get used too

July 4, 2007 at 01:33 AM · A lot of time we don’t need to know all the words in a sentence to understand because a lot can be inferred if the content is not too complex and idea is not novel. This may be why some of us feel sometimes it's harder to read Buri’s messages than the one that Lauri showed us, as the ideas Buri tries to convey is not always easy to grasp at the first instance (for me anyway). They often require a couple of readings and subsequent review, even with perfect spelling.

July 5, 2007 at 03:49 PM · Emil--- great advice...I do that often!

--sometimes those four notes are hard enough by themselves, though....

July 5, 2007 at 04:44 PM · I've seen this before, and when I did, the caption said that virtually anyone who can read is capable of reading it easily. That makes more sense to me than 45% of people being unable to read it.

July 6, 2007 at 02:47 AM · Yeah, I think most people can read it.... it's still awfully impressive after you finish reading it. Stand back a few feet and it looks like another language but it's so easy to read!

July 6, 2007 at 05:08 AM · I think it should be worded:

"55% can raed tihs bofree eevn rlaizenig trhee are mpslelnigis in it."

July 6, 2007 at 05:08 AM · I think it should be worded:

"55% can raed tihs bofree eevn rlaizenig trhee are mpslelnigis in it."

"this spam made me think of one of our favorite members"

I wonder who that would be... ;)

July 6, 2007 at 08:53 AM · hmmmmm...

This is amazing, find it very easy to read! Someone should try this with notes.

Cheers, John

July 6, 2007 at 09:43 AM · Very easy to read if you read it fast, musical notes might also be fun.

July 6, 2007 at 10:42 AM · Here's related one - a quite old one.

Count the F's:




Most of the people spot three or four F's, not six. But it's fun to see people losing their countenance while searching for the missing F's. :)

July 6, 2007 at 02:39 PM · Stupid "ofs"- I eventually got 6 but I had to read it slowly. I guess we really do shortchange our "f"s.

Oh, and it's true, I was able to read that first line (of the original post) before realizing it was scrambled. Only when I looked back did I realize is was...

July 6, 2007 at 03:08 PM · Hey keep going with this silly thread guys!

The world will be better thank to you!!


July 7, 2007 at 12:24 AM · I cloud dear the tops!

July 9, 2007 at 03:06 PM · I got six! And yet the jumbled letters didn't even strike me as being out of place at first glance!

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Business Directory Business Directory Guide to Online Learning Guide to Online Learning

Dominant Pro Strings

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine