Psycholinguistics is the research field that studies the connection between brain and language: how do we acquire, produce and understand language. Here are a few examples that show how powerful our brain is when it comes to language, just to whet (*) your appetite!


Aoccdrnig to 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 total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

The statement made in the text above is controversial. How easy or hard it is to decipher jumbled words likely depends on many different aspects. Also, the reference to research at Cambridge seems not correct. Still, it is surprising how well our brain copes with recognizing faulty word patterns, isn't it? By the way, did yuo fnid ti splmie to raed? Context and expectations likely play a big role.


Th qck brwn fx jmps vr th lzy dg.

The above sentence was stripped of all its vowels. However, even without a vowel in it, most people can easily see the original sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."

By the way, this sentence is a so-called pangram since it includes every single letter of the alphabet, from A to Z. It is even a perfect pangram since it uses just 26 letters to do so!

English has more different sounds (phonemes) than there are letters (depending on the phonetic alphabet used that number is around 40). So we can also think of phonetic pangrams i.e. they use all the phonemes of English. An example of such a sentence is: 

That quick beige fox jumped in the air over each thin dog. Look out, I shout, for he's foiled you again, creating chaos.


1 to 9...? The examples above showed how great our brains are at compensating for mistakes or lacking information. However, the very same ability can have an adverse effect: typos, missing numbers etc can slip right by you because you’re seeing the version that exists in your brains rather than the version on the screen.

(*) Yes - that is the correct spelling. Whet and wet are homographs.