If I recall correctly, there is a term in English which refers to the phenomenon /behavior where people are unable to tell, at a glance or when skimming through an article, a misspelled word because the vowels were spelled in reverse, it's not quite "dyslexic" but I couldn't at all think of that word.

Here's an example:

At a glance, it's kind of difficult to tell "miosturizer" from a whole paragraph of words. It's very possible people would read through it without noticing this spelling error.

Similarly, "auteocism" would be passed off as correct, if one does not sift through an article word by word meticuluosly.

What is this phenomenon called?

  • 1
    "Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe... This is because the human mind does not read every letter by itself (but) the word as a whole." mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/people/matt.davis/cmabridge ; See also: mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/stories/…
    – Kris
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 10:47
  • We deal with misspellings all the time. We read the string as if it made sense. There is an analogy here to Miller's Law: "To understand what another person is saying, you must assume that it is true and try to imagine what it could be true of." (Not offered as a grammar sample!) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%27s_law Good advice for people who hang out on the "Net," where making sense of paragraphs is like reading the sample texts offered for this question.
    – remarkl
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 13:01
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    Ha Ha, “meticuluosly” ...
    – Jim
    Commented Mar 30, 2019 at 5:03
  • I would call it "disproof reading".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jul 21, 2020 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia has the neologism Typoglycemia, but it is not used in psycholinguistic research (as it is a rather strange construct).

Typoglycemia is a neologism for a purported recent discovery about the cognitive processes behind reading written text. The word appears to be a portmanteau of "typo", as in typographical error, and "hypoglycemia".

The standard example is 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

It has been pointed out that the word cannot be completly random, some order must be retained, for the reader to reconstruct the meaning. See http://www.mrc-cbu.cam.ac.uk/people/matt.davis/cmabridge/

  • "Typoglycemia" makes it sound like people who (normally, naturally) read word-wise rather than letter-wise are somehow pathological and not normal.
    – Kris
    Commented Feb 27, 2019 at 10:52
  • To me, it does not seem to be a suitable word, as -glycemia means "...glucose in the blood", as in hypoglycemia = too low level of glucose in the blood. But it is the only one I have seen.
    – Stefan
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 15:39

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