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.

ToonadayHow 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 –

27 thoughts on “Cna Yuo Raed Tihs? (A Spam Story)

  1. I think SPAM is like the common cold–such a nuisance and why can’t we cure it when we see to be able to fix so many other seemingly more difficult problems?

    I’ve got a SPAM post in the hopper waiting to be written, too. Great minds, eh? 😉


    1. This spam was clever the first time around, but each subsequent time it got embellished – that is what made me look into it.


  2. Unfortunately, I have a couple of friends who insist on forwarding these sorts of emails to everyone in their address books; I generally just sigh and delete them. At least they’re not trying to sell me Viagra!



    1. I investigate the most outlandish stories, then inform the sender if I discover it is a hoax or a scam. I also give them the link to my favourite source of information – Snopes.


  3. Spammers are indeed clever and, sometimes, all too obvious.

    While it’s technically not spam in the e-mail sense, I am always amused by the ads on the side of a web page advertizing something like reducing back pain or penny stocks with a picture of a young, very attractive and well-endowed woman. The picture has nothing to do with the product advertized except to get men to click the ad. (And, no, I don’t click on those ads.)


  4. I’ve never gotten this one for my few email friends don’t send each other silly things. We delete whatever we might happen to get such as things like this. No tests to take or whatever.

    Nice post by the way.


  5. What??? I’m using my ability to read those deals as proof that I should be in Mensa! Dnag. And thanks for investigating the 1 old diet trick. I always wondered about that. Next up, can you find out why President Obama wants me to go back to school?


    1. Probably because if you’re in school you won’t be counted in among the unemployed and the numbers will look better. Certainly not the definitive answer, just a guess. 😆


    2. I think President Obama wants you to go back to school so you will have less time to blog. Yes, your common sense, down to earth attitude doesn’t fit with any government agenda for the people.


    1. Thanks for visiting Madelaine and thanks for the compliment. WordPress makes it very easy to change the look of a blog on a whim!


  6. Hi, there!
    Thanks for following my blog! So far, I’ve just read your latest entry and your “about” page, and I’m hooked! You and I are about the same age, so we should have many of the same interests.
    I’m signing up for future posts!


    1. Thanks for visiting Dianna. I enjoy reading posts from people who share my interests, but not my geography – puts a different spin on things.


  7. Spam in disguise! It’s amazing what lengths people will go to just to generate something like this. I only have one friend who constantly sends this type of stuff, but I just delete it and move on to the next email. I’ve told her it’s spam, but she loves it (she’s stubborn but I still love her!) 😀


    1. Yes, we have a few friends who always send this stuff too. I’m trying to train them to check the accuracy of the content more carefully, but I think it is a lost cause.


  8. The good news is, I can read this. But, I can read upside down as fast as I can right side up, which makes my hubby nuts, LOL! I don’t know what that means, but may account for why I can think of haiku poetry faster than I can write it….a flukie glitch. Thank you for signing on to follow my blog. Won’t have any problem remembering your name…as it is mine too! I am Margaret, but Margie fits me so much better. Cheers Margie from Margie!


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