F1gur471v3ly 5p34k1ng? How your brain can read words made of numbers

10 Feb 2012

Checking your work for errors is a tricky business. And that’s because you’re brain is fiendishly clever and will ‘make good’ the word even if it’s written incorrectly. I’m sure you’re familiar with the paragraph below where the first and last letters of the word are correct but the rest of the letters are muddled. And you can still read it, right?

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteers be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

So how about if the letters are replaced with numbers?

7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17, B3 PROUD! 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15.

It’s hard for the first few words isn’t it? And then it feels quite easy.

So if you’re reading your work back and checking for errors, chances are you’re going to miss some, as your brain autocorrects as you read.

Ideally, what you need is a proofreader to proofread all your work. Or for a cheaper option follow these 12 Steps to Perfect Copy.