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Q: University Study - Letter order in reading ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: University Study - Letter order in reading
Category: Reference, Education and News > Teaching and Research
Asked by: traderjunky-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 16 Sep 2003 20:55 PDT
Expires: 16 Oct 2003 20:55 PDT
Question ID: 257528
I'm looking for the source of the following study... It seems to have
some merit.

"Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry sutdy the oredr of letetrs in a
wrod dosen't mttaer, the olny thnig thta's iopmrantt is that the frsit
and lsat ltteer of eevry word is in the crcreot ptoision. The rset can
be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy."

Request for Question Clarification by ephraim-ga on 16 Sep 2003 21:31 PDT
I've found something very similar, though not exactly the same as what
you have posted. The problem is that what I've found isn't a pointer
to an English university study, but instead a page about the possible
origins of this quote. If this is what you want, please advise, and
I'll post the link.

Subject: Re: University Study - Letter order in reading
Answered By: ephraim-ga on 16 Sep 2003 21:47 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

I hereby retract my Request for Clarification above, as I've done
enough research to confirm my original suspicion.

The origin of the quote is a bit of blogging (i.e. Web Logging)
experiment that somebody was doing, trying to see how fast this
particular quote would spread around the internet. It's most certainly
done so, and mutated many times, as we can see from the version that
you yourself have posted.

My source for this fact comes from David Harris, the individual who
started it in the first place: [ ].

"By now, you've probably read the "Aoccdrnig to rsereach..." meme
floating about the web. I talked about it last Friday. Since then, the
meme has exploded on the web, and further propagated by Slashdot

What I didn't mention the other day is that I was using this as a very
informal experiment...I wanted to see how this paragraph propagated in
blogspace in different versions...At time of writing, my Friday
version is found by Google on 106 sites."

David claims that he received the original quote in an e-mail from a
friend. If you want, you could try to contact him via his web site and
ask for more details. Most likely, this is an urban myth or a joke.

David's version is slightly different from yours, so it looks like
somebody else modified the quote to do their own test of its
propogation. For example, if I do a Google search on your version
("Acocdrnig to an elgnsih unviesitry"), then I get [
] which shows 33 results as of this writing. Notice that most (if not
all) of the answers provided by this search are Blogs (Web logs),
which pretty much confirms the original claim by David Harris, above.

I'll note with some amusement that when I tried this search, Google
responded with the unintelligible but hilarious suggestion, "Did you
mean:  "Acocdrnig to an english university"  ", which again proves
that this "quote" has been modified many many times in order to
propogate like a virus through the web.

While this may not have been what you were expecting, David's site
appears to be the likely source of the original quote.

I hope this answers you question. Ask for clarification if you need

Search Strategy: I originally saw this story on [
] yesterday, and just followed the links to provide the answer to the


Clarification of Answer by ephraim-ga on 16 Sep 2003 22:03 PDT
One more link from somebody who has done even more research as to the
origins of this quote:

traderjunky-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
This answer is acceptable---thank you. I'm a bit disappointed with
myself for contributing (financially and otherwise) to its propogation
however. I hope you'll understand when I refuse to leave a tip.

Subject: Re: University Study - Letter order in reading
From: pinkfreud-ga on 16 Sep 2003 22:09 PDT
This may be of interest:
Subject: Re: University Study - Letter order in reading
From: secret901-ga on 16 Sep 2003 22:42 PDT
This page might provide the basis for the claim

Subject: Re: University Study - Letter order in reading
From: apteryx-ga on 21 Sep 2003 21:01 PDT
I first saw this quote posted on an e-list on 9/12 and have been
receiving additional copies almost daily from friends, associates, and
coworkers.  David Harris may have propagated it on 9/15, but he didn't
originate it:  he too says he received it on 9/12, as ephraim reports.
 So there's still a source somewhere back of him.


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