Seeing what’s not there

Do you ever have those moments when you read something, and you’re either in a hurry or over 50, and your eyes tell you something that your brain (who should be doing the reading in the first place) knows can’t possibly be true?

I had such a moment earlier this week when I glanced at the subject line of an email and read this sage advice:

“Achieve your goats.”

I knew within nano-seconds that what it actually said was, “Achieve your goals,” but still, there was a snippet of time – however small it was – when I actually considered changing my agenda for the day and pursuing not just one goat, but goats.

I posted the quirky little moment on Facebook, because that’s what you do these days, and enjoyed hearing comments like:

 I do that all the time. One time I was reading my Bible and I read something about Jesus and the Insurance Representatives. (It really was Jesus and the insurrectionists.)

Yes, I read recently in Psalms, “Lord, deliver me from my toes.” 

It’s like our eyes and our brain like to play games with each other and will race to fill in blanks when we’re reading with the speed of kids playing Whack-a-Mole. But in reality it’s not a game. It’s the way we process images -not words. Words are images. Not individual letters. Cambridge University figgered it out. See for yourself:

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 toatl 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.

Amazing it, isn’t?

If you’ve a goat story, I’d love to hear it so we can all share the laugh.

Adn nwo I erally muts be gnoig. Muhc to wrtie tdoay…

Author: Susan

This post has 3 Comments

  1. recessionhome on June 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Susan! this is so true… It's that distracted writer syndrome, I think! our brains are moving faster than our eyes… and you just fill in the blanks with a random Goat or two! 🙂 hopefully they don't make it into the final draft!

    Appreciated the laugh this morning…



  2. Susan Meissner on June 22, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    You are welcome, Ashley!

  3. Anonymous on June 29, 2012 at 6:01 am

    I wondered what the mses of wrds on FB was about. I've done it often…and will come back and post when the brain wakes up and I remmbr what they were!

    Thanks, Sue.
    Mary Ky

    Hey, your “prove you're not a robot” requirement is getting into the act, too.

Leave a Comment