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edward long

Association of Old Crows

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Why do we bother with spelling?

Unlike chess, in spelling the middle game is irrelevant. All that matters is the right choice at the beginning and the end. The middle letters, which must be the correct set of letters, can be completely jumbled and the reader will not be confused. To wit: "Arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe." How can this little known God-given ability of the human brain be exercised to simplify, and perhaps improve, our lives? Any ttguhohs you cveelr TED fklos?

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Closing Statement from edward long

OK. OK. Spelling is important and we should continue to teach it and all the rules associated with it to those learning how to read, speak, and write our language. From Silverstein to Shakespeare; from subjects like cryptography and dyslexia, this debate was spirited and very much worth while. From the Netherlands to China we TEDsters hashed-out our feelings on this skill we call Language. It makes sense that the subject of written communication would interest TED folks, after all, what is more crucial to TED Conversations than wtitten communication? I asked two questions. Both were answered. We bother with spelling because it permits standardized rules of written communication. And, the only possible beneficial application for the remarkable ability of the human brain to unjumble familiar words almost as fast as reading correctly spelled words is to jumble words as a way to draw attention to them and add emphasis. We learned the idea of jumbling and unjumbling words is known in the academic world as TYPOGLYCEMIA, and THE JUMBLING EFFECT. Taht's all floks!

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  • May 1 2013: oblivousy the aoaiipltpcn of ieeunnrfqt or eanavaxrgtt vulacanerr lades twarod foppery! :)
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      May 1 2013: Every word was easy for me to read with the exception of "vernacular". My brain did not respond when asked,"What contextually appropriate 10-letter word which begins with the letter "V" and ends with the letter "R" could this be?" There was no word in my memory which readily popped-up so I had to play Word Jumble to get the answer. Does that indicate that the skill is based upon pattern recognition? Hmmmm. Thanks for a telling emalpxle!
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      May 1 2013: :o You mghit heav a pinot theer.

      Hvae you raed Deianl Oepheinepmr's peaper ttleid:

      "Ceoncnseeuqs of Eiutdre Vaeuacnlrr Uzleiitd Itpresvicere of Niteescsy: Pmreolbs wtih Uinsg lnog Wrods Nessldeley"?
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        May 1 2013: "pinot" = a fine red wine. Also, the first and last letters must be correct. Does this phenomena work with emoticons?. . . :)-
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          May 2 2013: I enjoy vouvray myself......don't know about emoticons.

          You know, today I grabbed a piece of paper, and wrote a note to my son, and used the jumbling rule....and guess what?

          He read it perfectly........and he's still a little kid.....
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        May 2 2013: RE: "I enjoy vouvray myself. . . ". I am getting addled in my old age, I just spent 5-minutes trying to unjumble the word Vouvray! Good to know kids (yours anyway) can read jumbled words too. Gracias amiga.
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          May 2 2013: HaHaHa Ed!!

          That is too funny. The same thing happens to me when I am reading, and there happens to be a spanish word in the context which I try to read it as if it were English. Right before I yell out, "hey, this doesn't make any sense", my brain catches itself and realizes I am reading a different language.

          P.S. you misspelled gracious amongst ;)

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