Cna Yuo Raed Tihs? (A Spam Story)
How often have you received this email, or one like it?
Can you raed this? Olny 55 people out of 100 can. If you can read the following
paragraph, forward it on to your friends with ‘yes’ in the subject line. Only great minds can read this.
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.
How often have you read the email and then sent it off to your friends to show them that you are one of those 55 folks with a great mind?
I’ve received this email more times than I can count, and each time it is embellished a bit more. The one in my inbox this morning told me that it was a test for Alzheimer’s.
Guess what? The email is really just a fun bit of spam that has been floating around the internet since September 2003. Cambridge University (UK) isn’t aware of the research that is referred to in the email. Matt Davis, who is part of a Cambridge group that is investigating how the brain processes language, has explained this email at the following link: MRC-CBU: The Science Behind the Meme. Matt lists some of the ways in which the original author(s) of the meme might have manipulated the jumbled text to make it relatively easy to read.
In short, you aren’t as smart as you think you are and in fact, you have been tricked into sending spam to your friends. You can’t help but be impressed by how clever some of these spammers are!
No one bill will cure the problem of spam. It will take a combined effort of legislation, litigation, enforcement, customer education, and technology solutions.
- David Baker -