Sometimes typographical errors are exceedingly difficult to catch - often because of typographical illusions.

This image is a good example of what I mean:

word illusion

You may have missed the double "the" as many do!

I am curious if a word exists for this strange process of the brain "glossing over" the typo. Humorously, these typos are sometimes difficult to spot even when another person points them out.

I've heard this described as "Typographical blindness" but am looking for something more succinct.

  • It's really "typographical misdirection", but with only 1 hit in Google (and only 7 others besides this very question for your version), I can't see either of them taking off. I think you're being a bit optimist hoping for a "more succinct" term (apart from shortening typographical to typo, with a consequent shift in meaning). Nov 24 '15 at 18:56
  • Typo blindness appears to be the more succinct form : How To Avoid Typo Blindness: ramonadef.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/how-to-avoid-typo-blindness
    – user66974
    Nov 24 '15 at 18:57
  • Thanks for the comments. Perhaps I'm also looking for a scientific term to describe the process responsible for this blindness. Kind of like the opposite of pareidolia or apophenia. Nov 24 '15 at 19:03
  • It is just an optical illusion. It is not a typograhic illusion. This is related to brain being faster than your eyes.
    – 0..
    Nov 24 '15 at 19:06
  • I like this one, but I don't suppose that's what you're talking about. Nov 24 '15 at 19:08

The specific illusion would probably fall under Future Perception, where the second "the" is consumed as we have already guessed what will come next. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_illusion#Future_perception

A term I have seen for this specific occurrence concerning written text, is Typoglycemia. -- It does have an urban dictionary entry, so take it for what you will.


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