Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Writing Backward or Upside Down: It Doesn't Really Matter To Your Mind

Can you read the phrase above?

It is presented backwards as well as upside down.

A few years back there was a meme about an university research study showing how misspelled words and scrambled word order don't impinge reading comprehension. Well, the example above falls along those lines. Sadly, the research regarding the university study seems to be an urban myth .

BUT the mind DOES have a fantastic way of taking indistinct stimuli and morphing them into something that makes sense to us. Whatever the reason this word-order-thingy occurs, research based or not, it's totally cool.

Here's an upside down/backward writing generator for you to enjoy.

¡unɟ ǝɯos ǝʌɐɥ oƃ puɐ ǝɹǝɥʇ ɹǝʌo uo pɐǝɥ ʍou


OHN said...

This made me laugh as it brought back a memory. When I was in high-school I discovered that I could read upside down as quickly as most people read right side up. I used this advantage frequently to snag a peek at my grades from the grade book.

I can still read this way, now if I could only find a way to get paid for this :)

John Wilkins said...

OHN, it's a very useful skill when you are on the other side of the desk from your boss, or a competitor, in an office situation. Being able to read memos they have that you don't, rapidly, is sometimes a job saver...

dawn said...

oh no, I can see myself spending A LOT of time over on that generator :)

too fun!

Anonymous said...

I could read it! Oh great. Another skill I have that I can't use ;)


Jedi Master Daryl said...

Hmmm... interesting. I wonder if it would be tougher with $37.50 words like sternocleidomastoid, or rhabdomyosarcoma.

Ian Lidster said...

You have possibly come across mirror-writers in your work, like Leonardo da Vinci. I think it's a form of dyslexia. Interesting. Oh, and I oould read it.
And, I helped myself to one of your blog awards, OK?

Abhaya said...

fun!! thanks for sharing:)

The Lone Beader said...

p: ¡looɔ ʎɹǝʌ ¡¡ʞuıl ʇɐɥʇ ƃuıʇsod ɹoɟ sʞuɐɥʇ

Health Psych said...

Deb, you always find the fun stuff!

Vesper de Vil said...

The human mind rocks!

Jade said...

Funny, I've always had a tendency to write letters or entire words if not careful. I'm a bit of a dyslexic... Who knew that people would be able to read my flip flops anyways!

jumpinginpuddles said...

we grew up reading upside down and bakcwards and still do very easily.

Teresa Lynne said...

I saw the scrambled words. That is cool. I would like to use this in my writing blog if that is OK?

IntelligentLayPerson said...

I'm not trying to be picky but... Technically it isn't backwards, if you turned the circle around the phrase correctly reads left to right.

I'm wondering if it would be harder to read if it were truly backward, reading from right to left combined with being upside down.

Ms.L said...

That was fun to read!

ellesu said...

Kewl! When you mention "....taking indistinct stimuli and morphing them into something that makes sense to us." I do this on eye exams -- I call it pattern recognition. When things become blurry, if the doctor will tell me if I'm supposed to be seeing letters or numbers, I can go a couple of lines further.

alan said...

I had a foreman get very upset with me when after 3 years of my spending hours across the desk from him he figured out I could do that...



Muser said...

Have to comment:
1. back when Wendy's restaurants had the tables laminated to look like they were covered in newspapers, my mother used to make me sit so they were upside down because otherwise I'd be reading the table. When she realized I'd learned to read upside down, she had me sit sideways. Then I learned to read sideways....!

2. As a school psychologist I'm frequently doing assessments with kids with reading difficulties and I have to read instructions to them... the text is often upside down... I have to consciously turn the page and hide that I'm reading upside down as it can be discouraging to kids who have enough difficulty reading right side up!

Kikolani | Poetry, Photography, Blogging Tips said...

Reminds me of how you can read any word as long as the first and last letter is the same, like this example:

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer 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.

~ Kristi

Deb said...

What a great skill to have!


It was such a fun find, that generator!

Oh, you can use it. But make sure you use it for good, not evil.

Nice to see you here. How can I comment on your blog?

Your blog is one that I enjoy so much.

Your welcome

Lone Beader,
How cool. You used the generator!

Health Psych,
I love surfing for things like this!

Vesper de Vil,
I agree!

I'm a mirror writer too.

It's a good skill to have.

Teresa Lynne,
Of course. You can use anything you find on this blog.

You are right. I think it would be a bit harder, but still very very possible. The actual generator presents it backwards. When I wanted to print it ended up being in that order.

So glad you like it. That's what I was going for!

Kewl, indeed

How funny!

Wow, amazing.

Yes, that's what the link the post takes you to - that paragraph!

SSQuo said...

Actually writing backwards is not always related to dyslexia contrary to what one of the comments suggests.

I am a mirror writer with perfectly good spelling. Much of this association has been made due to the theories and explanations made in deducing Leonardo Da Vinci's works.

Here's some research, dated but helpful nonetheless.


If anyone ever hears about a study being done on mirror writers, and it involves not an ounce of pain - I'm in!

Anonymous said...

I mirror write very easily. I read somewhere that it was easy for left-handed people to do this. Something to do with the way the brain is wired.

Nora said...

Me and my best friend have learned to write like Da Vinci and we are now able to write mirrorwriting as fast as regular writing. We can also read it as fast as if it was written the normal way round.

Hey, watch who you're calling dyslexic... said...

Another non-dyslexic mirror-writer here. It's only dyslexia if you can't read or write the normal way. (I, on the other hand, learnt to read when I was two.) Dyslexia is a defect– this is an ability (if not a terribly useful one). Quite different.