Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Sracmbeld Wrods

A fienrd rcnteley snet me a msgaese sohiwng how it's psblosie to raed sracmbeld wrods so lnog as the fsrit and lsat ltretes are in thier rghit psitonios. Tihs is bcuseae radineg ivlonves wrod rgcoentioin and ctxonet.

Hovewer tihs efceft is at laest prtaly rliaent on the coiche of wrdos and dtrsitibuoin of ltertes. For empxale, how esialy can you raed the fllownoig sntnecee:

'gldnraiee aattiinpecs mieduuttls ciinnnaotg eeoornrus amptttes'


Anonymous said...

I couldnt read that! I'm normally good at those sentances. It's dependant on context, helps you to recognise what the word will be, and the first and last letter have to remain in their original place or it impedes reconstruction of the word, for example, in your original post, I had trouble reading the word "tish" (this) as the last letter wasnt in its original place.

Daniel Tammet said...

Hi Neil,

The 'tish' has been corrected to a 'tihs'! All the words in the final sentence have their first and last letters in the right position.

Anonymous said...

Although usually I'm absolutely crap at puzzles and things of this kind and HATE people testing me on it because I can do them on my own but never when tested. That's why I've always been useless at academic exams and things.

This one is about the only exception and I can read it virtually as fast as I can read your average coherent sentence.

But the sentence you've given there I can't read at all!

Anonymous said...

Hi Daniel

Just wanted to say that I read your book and found it extremely interesting and inspiring. Congratulations on what you have acheived!

Lubos said...

Hi. This took me a while. I managed to translate the words but they don't seem to make sense in the sentence. It was fun though.

"Gerealdine anticipates multitudes containing eroneous attempts."

Anonymous said...


"Realigned anticipates multitudes containing erroneous attempts."

Hey, the first word didn't have the first and last letters in the right place! You wouldn't believe how long that one took me...

yitz said...

Daniel, did the fact that the words still stay the same colors for you help at all?

Also, in the last demonstrative sentence I actually found it harder than a normal word scramble because my mind wants to rearrange all the letters, not just the middle ones. I also noticed you intentionally doubled up any repeated letters so it's more misleading to the reader.

I'm resisting the desire to write a piece of software that will solve the last sentence brute-force faster than I can solve the remainig 3 words in my head.

_______ anticipates multitudes containing erroneous attempts

maybe i'm lacking in my vocabulary,

wow, like the others i was stuck on the first word .. :( sorry others beat me..

Daniel Tammet said...

Lubos and Felicity, You were both almost right. The sentence is: 'Geraldine anticipates multitudes containing erroneous attempts'. It's a grammatically correct sentence but difficult to read when scrambled and without clear context, which was the point I was making. By the way, Geraldine is a woman's name in the UK (not sure how common or not it is elsewhere in the world). The sentence is equivalent to saying: 'Geraldine expects large numbers (of entries) containing faulty attempts.'

Anonymous said...

I confess I had to use an annagram solver on the last set of words. Otherwise the rest was easy to read.

sonia said...

Wow, how fantastic! Just saw the TV program (in Australia) where you learnt Icelandic in a week! (I'm an ESL teacher) I'm very curious about your genetic background, family, etc. Have you got any siblings and do they have abilities like yours?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just wanted to say hi! I watched the documentary on TV - WOW! I'm the self-diagnosed aspie mum of a diagnosed aspie boy. We're both proud of it!
Paula and Daniel

Top of the Otways said...

Hehehe, that was fun! More, more, more!. I think as of lastnight (your doco Brainman showed here in Australia lastnight) you will become a household name here. You're amazing... I can'tr wait to read your book... You haven't thought of coming to Australia to do a book signing?, or would that be too much?. How did you cope with travelling around the the world with so many things going on around you?. I have so many questions! - you're so beautiful and inspiring. I'm not sure if you've heard of indigo children before, but you fit the bill & time frame. Wow. What books are you reading right now?, and what subjects interest you?. More, more, more.

Anonymous said...

Bonjour Daniel,

Je viens de découvrir votre blog suite à un article paru dans Courrier International.

Cette expérience sur la lecture est intéressante, à mon avis, pour détecter le niveau de lecture d'une personne. Un lecteur confirmé n'aura aucun problème pour déchiffrer ce genre de phrases.

Par contre, un lecteur ne maîtrisant pas encore la globalisation des mots serait quelque peu perdu en se référant à la méthode syllabique.

Pendant de nombreuses années, j'ai lutté pour apprendre à lire (et écrire) correctement. Malgré cela, j'ai toujours aimé les livres. Un livre est un objet fascinant. On peut le regarder sans le toucher, sans l'ouvrir et imaginer son contenu. On peut saisir, le toucher, le manipuler et se dire qu'une partie de l'auteur est présente et palpable. Naturellement, on peut le lire, il est fait pour cela, d'ailleurs...

Je ne néglige pas les plaisirs qui gravitent autour d'un livre. Au risque de paraître bizarre, j'apprécie l'odeur des livres. Chaque livre a une odeur qui lui est propre. Ce parfum détermine son identité, il peut évoquer une foule de souvenirs et d'impressions. C'est mon épouse qui m'a fait découvrir le parfum des livres... étudiante, je la voyais souvent sentir l'intérieur des dictionnaires chinois qu'elle consultait.

Il y a tant de choses à dire à propos des plaisirs annexes à la lecture ! La provenance d'un livre forge aussi son caractère. Un livre acheté dans une librairie ou dans un supermarché, un livre offert, un livre trouvé dans les poubelles, un livre ayant appartenu à son grand-père, un livre ancien dont l'amour de la lecture a permis qu'il soit encore intact aujourd'hui... Tous ces livres ont leur propre histoire et renferment notre Histoire grâce à deux idées essentielles : le partage et la mémoire.

Merci Daniel de nous faire partager vos idées.

Daniel Tammet said...

Hi Sonia, yes I have 8 siblings with a wide range of talents.

No plans to go to Australia but pleased to see the interest in my book over there.

To Xiaolong, merci beaucoup pour tes mots et de m'ecrire.

dada said...

Bonjour Daniel,

Je t'écris du Maroc. Je viens de découvrir tes exploits et ton blog à la lecture d'un article paru dans Courrier International. C'est vraiment fascinant.
J'ai hâte de lire ton livre.

Anonymous said...

and this is also valid for french language

Anonymous said...

I read the lead-in text easily, but the last sentence took me a while. But if language recognition is based on the shape of whole words - and I think it is, otherwise bad spelling wouldn't persist - how is it that dyslexia can function differently in alphabetical and ideogram languages? I have a friend who is dyslexic in spelling English words, but has no problem in Chinese.

Also, can the 'shape of words' approach lead to a better way of learning languages? I'm aware that I scan whole words and phrases in English (though spelling errors always stick out), but in other alphabetical languages, e.g. Thai and Lao, I often find myself mentally spelling out words despite a high degree of verbal fluency and written vocabulary.

That famous philosopher and linguist, Rolf Harris, used to label objects in his house with their names so that his children would recognise the whole word rather than try to learn spelling. But I'm still waiting for the book of his research outcomes!

I spent all day yesterday reading and finishing your book. Very inspiring, thank you.

Anonymous said...


I read your scrambled message with no problem--as smoothly as reading regular text! I've always had facility with "codes", puzzles or scrambled writing. Indeed, besides being synaesthetic (about which I've just written you on your blog site) I also easily read upside down text and can hand-write words or full sentences/paragraphs upside-down and backwards (in simultaneous combination -- either in classic "mirror-writing" or also as upside-down "mirror-writing") with no trouble at all. I've never had to practice this, just discovered when I was young that I could do so easily and directly with no effort. Have you ever had experience with this? It certainly serves no practical function but does indicate some interesting possibilities as to wiring characteristics . . .

Z-Prime said...

The cotnext of the sentences must be the crucial determinant of how clear the words will appear. What about chinese. Can this scramble between bookends even be produced in chinese. If so in what way would you conciously arrange the dissarangement.

Anonymous said...

Hello Daniel, Finished your remarkable book this morning. I bought it after listening to the interview on BBC (with Mr O B Jones). I wish you all the best!

Anonymous said...

see tekst oli küll väga lihtne lugeda, aga ilmselt vaid inimesele, kelle emakeel on foneetiline.

apoetgirl said...

hi daniel
i could read that so what does that say about me
though going throggh special ed
in the 50 and 70s words used to look like that until i put them together
amazing what the human brain can do isn't it?

Unknown said...

Hi Daniel,

We never really know what is going on in the mind of another person do we.

For me the last two words in your specially scrambled sentence were just as easy as the paragraph above it. I can't explain why, the letter combinations just seemed to provide less potential combinations. The other words were however brain bending.

If you read this I have a question.
Have you ever attempted an oriental language like Chinese Mandarin for example? Does that seem appealing? Do you think your unique talents would serve to help learn the writing system. Every syllable has a meaning and there are four distinct tones applied (five including neutral) which are traditionally allocated numerical values.

Tone 1 is high and bright.
Tone 2 starts low and rises.
Tone 3 starts highish, dips and rises a little
Tone 4 starts high and drops to the bottom

The neutral tone is rather non-descript and somewhat unstressed (sometimes called 5). Of course you could always assign appropriate numbers to fit your numerical landscape.

I suspect that you would either enjoy this language or strongly dislike it.

Anonymous said...

Hello Daniel, I just saw you today with Diane Sawyer. You're awesome. I began researching you tonight and found the Scracmbeld Wrods thing you posted. I'm a special ed teacher and have had something like that posted for a long time in my room. Very interesting to watch different kids read this. I have worked with some autistic children here and there. Things like this and things that will come to the surface I believe in the near future will be of so much help to
the world. My 26 year old son has ocd, which he has learned how to control himself. He's never taken any medication for it. He is pretty brilliant as well. He graduated from ucla film school and did a documentary on his ocd. He is a very talented guy. It was so eye opening watching the mind of an ocd sufferer tell his own story his own way and show vivid examples of what his life was like in his own mind. Very freeing to him as well. Have you ever or would you ever consider allowing someone like Ryan help you do a documentary. He is a Christian as well. I was so happy when I read what you wrote on Christianity. As you grow in faith Daniel the holy spirit will blow your mind. He will lead you in ways you could never ever imagine, just as he has led me to you tonight. What ever the outcome,I wish you happiness and true blessing from God now and forever. God has a very special purpose for you.. If you ever have any biblical questions I'll be happy to discuss them with you. You can email me at I live in Laguna Beach , California.
Best Wishes for A Great 2007
your new friend, Darnell

Anonymous said...

Dear Daniel,

I saw a piece about you on the telly last night. In the teaser at the beginning of the program they said something about your memorizing pi. I turned to my friend and said, oh, he must be an aspie.

The reason I guessed this is that I have a 22 year old son who has characteristics similar to yours. During his teen years he spent much of his time memorizing pi and asian alphabets. He has OCD impulses to count things as well, but I don't think he possesses savant-level powers. He was a quiet boy and he never told me about these things until he was in his late teens.

In your travails, have you met many others with similar traits and habits?

Unknown said...

Actually, after reading a few initial words, anticipating the rest of the words of the passage is really easy. As the words are in a grammatically correct order, it is much easier. But if random words with scrambled letters would be given for an average person to read, the person would have found it as difficult as the last sentence.

PS: The words in the last sentence are ones that are very infrequently used. Thats why reading that is difficult despite of it being grammatically correct. :)


Anonymous said...

I read your post up until the last sentence with about the same speed as I would read normally. I was surprised. I had much difficulty with the last sentence, but I do believe that the second to last word is "erroneous." Correct? I recognized that one right off. I'll go back and look at the others.