Typoglycemia

This post about the mind’s ability to understand massively garbled text is little short of astounding. I’ve seen this before, but I thought (in line with my new years resolution to continue blogging regularly) I would post it up here anyway.

A conversation starter
What can you deduce about the way the mind (or at least the bits used to read text) works? Oy it is nt eh jt to he te ft ad lt ls of te pe to be ae to ud it. (Obviously it is not enough just to have the first and last letters of the passage to be able to understand it.)

So the letters within the words are being used in some algorithm, even if the algorithm pays less attention to the order of the letters). Q: What are the factors that make a word recognisable? If I mangled ‘Typoglycemia’, would you find that as easy to interpret as the word ‘understand’? I guess not, which implies that we are already attuned to the words, based on their frequency in our vocabulary. The word order may provide hints in many cases. What else is going on?