17.538 sapm and sbjucet fleids (from Humanist, honest)

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Sun Jan 18 2004 - 05:48:14 EST

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 538.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

   [1] From: "Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett" <bkg@nyu.edu> (9)
         Subject: Spam trivia

   [2] From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk> (42)
         Subject: spahm peotry

         Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 10:01:18 +0000
         From: "Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett" <bkg@nyu.edu>
         Subject: Spam trivia

Bit of trivia ...
   Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh 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 is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be
   a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is
   bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
New York University

         Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 10:07:50 +0000
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: spahm peotry

Aimée Morrison's leap from anger, annoyance and anxiety to poetry I also
made earlier this morning, when going through my usual catch I spotted a
message from the undoubtedly pseudonymous "Jennifer Joyce"
<qnfdsnrpu@excite.com>. You will not be surprised to learn that the body of
message did not develop the imagery of flight or of inflammation, but there
were other rewards:

>Our 2 pcodruts will work for you!
>1. #1 Spupelment aavilable! - Works!
>2. *New* Enahncement Oil - Get hrad in 60 seocnds! Amzaing!
>Like no ohter oil you've seen.
>the 2 prdoucts work gerat togteher

(Note, Aimée, that both male-type and female-type persons are accommodated.)
But among the many questions: what establishes the context that so speeds our
decoding of such messages? (Imagine encountering "Sill no luck enrgailng
it?" on a flier put through one's postal slot or as the title of a book.)
What role does the strikingly unusual subject-line play? Perhaps none at
all, if one hangs out with poets. How rapidly we have become trained.

By the way: I have, using the same method, altered one of the words in the
above message. Can you see which one it is?

For a fair bit more on this subject, including the urban legendry, see the
blog "Uncle Jazzbeau's Gallimaufrey: Linguistics, philosophy, and politics"
for 16 September 2003, at http://www.bisso.com/ujg_archives/000227.html


Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
7848-2784 fax: -2980 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk

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