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My grade school teachers have taught me to mind my spelling. And over the years I would say that I became good at it, and I am particular that I don’t miss any misspelled words in my writings. My grammar may not be perfect (English is a second language to me), but my spelling is exemplary.

However, nowadays we have auto-correct and spell-check built-in in our computer programs, so it is not that hard to have a perfect spelling. Besides we are turned off reading an article if we see any misspelled words, and it is a poor reflection for the writer too.

But I have read a study from Cambridge University a few years ago that perfect spelling may not be that important to get our message across. In fact, according to the study, our brain can read jumbled words as long as the first and last letter are in the right place. Our brain interpret words not letter by letter, but by context. You don’t believe me?

I konw yuo’re cnotiniung to raed tihs aritcle and yuo’re now raednig jmubeld wrods. Preahps you cnanot beleive taht you are scnannig trhough tihs wtih esee, and undrestnading it wihtout mcuh prboelm too. It is qiute amzanig, rihgt?  Our brian can prefcetly decihper the msesage from this pargaraph even if it is a mses.

How can tihs mkae sesne wehn the wrods deos not mkae any sesne? I am not cetrain thoguh if tihs carzy phenmoneon is unviesral to all lagnuages. Waht if the wrtiten lagnuage deos not sepll wrods wtih letetrs, but uses chraatcers, lkie in Chniese? Deos any bdoy konw?


I geuss spelilng may not be taht importnat afetr all. My taechres in elmenetray shcool will be upest wtih me, tleling you taht. But tihs is sceinitfcially porven. And myabe by now, I aslo mdae a beleievr out of you.


I am not syaing taht we sohuld not mnid our seplling anyomre wehn we wirte. I am jsut   prvoing a fcat on how our brian fnuctoin. So nxet time, dno’t feel so bad if you hvae wrods speelld incroretcly, lkie it is the end of the wrold. We can stlil udnersatnd you.

Hvae a graet day!

(*I have to turn off the auto-correct function in my computer to write this article.)


  1. hi Mr. Doc …i was surprised at how i breezed through reading your post without a second glance at the words. this is indeed a very interesting discovery … thank you! i don’t know if you are familiar with the text language of the youth (and the young once … not misspelled, mind you) which they call “Jejemon” … that system of texting is definitely beyond my wits. your grade school teachers will not only be upset, they might probably give up teaching altogether! — April

  2. Very interesting that we can read through it all in spite of the language, but with some adjustments in our speed. I noticed my reading slowed down a bit.

    I could still think of places where perfect spelling would still be a make or break deal though, such as college apps, resumes, formal reports, etc.

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