Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mirror-Writing: ?sihT daeR uoY naC


Mirror writing is the ability to write from right to left, reversing each letter so that when it's held to a mirror, it reads normal.

I'm a mirror-writer, and have been since I'm a kid. I'm not really sure how I got into doing this unusual thing, but it came very easy to me. I'd write notes and letters to friends, which required them to hold it up in a mirror to read it - or turn the page over and hold it up against a strong light if I didn't write on both pages. Silly and entertaining, I never really thought much of it until I read some research on the subject.

Mirror-writing has genetic links. Studies in neuroscience suggest that those who mirror-write have bilateral language centers, with one in each hemisphere of the brain. Approximately 1 in 6500 can mirror-write, the most famous of them all being Leonardo Da Vinci.

I found a reverse writing generator that comes very close to true mirror-writing. You can write regular text and then have it reversed, flipped or written upside down. The fun thing is seeing that no matter how the letters are arranged, our brains are wired to make sense of the words.

Have fun with it. ti htiw nuf evaH



19 comments:

Angeliki said...

I had no idea that mirror-writing has genetic links! Wow! Now, I feel special :-)
I used to mirror-write my diaries when I was a kid because I didn't want anyone to find out what I was writing.

Dr. Deb said...

Angeliki,
I didn't think it was a unique thing either. How cute that you used it in your diary!!

Casdok said...

Our brains are so very clever :)

Sarebear said...

!gnitseretni yrev woh

That did not come naturally to me at all and it's just backwards righting, not mirror writing, right? The letters would have to be flipped, too . . .

Dr. Deb said...

Casdok,
Indeed, my friend.

Sarebear,
Yes, it is backwards writing. Not true mirror writing, but it comes close ;)

S'onnie said...

thanks for popping by my blog. I haven't written much recently but hopefully will have some big news this week! I used to write in mirror writing when I started writing and it took a lot of work to learn to write normally. I must admit I used to get my sister to do some of my written work just so I wouldn't be told off for writing the wrong way!

Sarebear said...

I told my sister in law about this blog post at my birthday party tonight, and she said she knew someone who used to read and talk backwards regularly. Is that related?

On a sort of related noted, what about reading upside down? I used to do that as a kid, so I could read what was placed across from me, opposite me; not for cheating purposes, but just out of curiousity, in situations where it wasn't cheating. Such distinctions were important to me. I'd be curious about a science magazine the teacher had on the other side of the lab aisle that was upside down from me and I'd start reading it upside down. I didn't do this often, though. Classwork came first!

onelongjourney said...

I can read it easily enough, but have never tried writing it. Maybe later today.

Xmichra said...

This is cool! I remember we used to write things like this when passing notes, so you could hold them up to a mirror and rad the text. But it wasn't a natural ability, it was quite hard! Infact, it was so hard we decided (my friend and I ) instead to write in our own type of hieroglyphs (some were "real" some we cut for ability). So. I'd say we werent' very good at mirror writing ... lol...

OHN said...

My middle son did this for a very long time when he was learning to read/write. The words and the letters were all backwards. He slowly outgrew it but drove his kindergarten teacher crazy :-).

I don't know if it makes a difference, but he is a lefty.

I read upside down. If you have a document you don't want me to read, sitting on the opposite side of the desk won't do you any good. lol.

east village idiot said...

That is amazing!!

Jenny Stamos said...

Wow! You can actually WRITE like this! I find mirror writing fairly easy to read, but writing it? Never. I'm so impressed!

Raine said...

I tried mirror writing after reading this post and I can do it easily. Does this make me one of the 1 in 6500?

Sofie said...

I also write with mirror writing in my diaries because i'm terrified that someone is going to find out what i think about :P
so i hide my diaries and have a lock on them and hide the key and write in mirror writing! so I have as much security on them xD hehe

Peyton said...

omg!! I just learned I am a person who can read mirror writing!! That is sooo cool!!! I used to make fun of my friends by writing mirror writing when I was younger, but I just thought it was something that everybody can do!!

belle_mmf said...

i've been doing mirror writing for as long as i van remember and i'm hust a 6th grader ! i'm a right- hander.. i can read mirror writing and texts that are upside down easily .... i never thought it was so special. others say mirror writing can be inherited but in my case it wasn't. i just saw a text of mirror writing and tried it out of curiosity and i've been using it ever since. ;)

oyin said...

I can also mirror write. I never knew this is what it's called. i can use my both hands to write at the same time, mirror writing with my left, and normally with my right. i want to know if its associated with fantasy of interesting stories almost all the time, which many times remain in my head.

Ritesh Sharma said...

i m also a Mirror writer i can write three language in mirror writing.
ritesharma2007@live.com

Carla said...

Dear Dr. Deb, yes I read, write both mirror image in both hands. But what is intersting is that I can write with both hands at the same time, but my left hand will write normal, while my right hand writes mirror imaged. My hands will write from the outside to the center, not from center to outside. What I don't know is how does this impact on reading comprehension? I do read and write upside down, right side, left side, and which way for many years.